Did I ruin my veneers with whitening strips?

I think I am in a dilemma – and possibly an expensive one! I’ve had porcelain veneers for several years on my top four front teeth, but recently I noticed that they were looking very dull. For a quick way to brighten them, I picked up some whitening strips and used them for several applications. Now these four teeth not only look dull, but they are a totally different shade than the rest of my natural teeth. Is this fixable? — Anastasia

It sounds like your veneers lost their sheen and luster and that could be due to your home care. It’ s recommended that only non-whitening, non-abrasive toothpaste be used on veneers so that they don’t dull. Have you been seeing your dentist on a regular basis for routine maintenance? While good quality porcelain veneers should not discolor, that doesn’t mean they are not susceptible to surface staining – especially if you drink coffee, tea, soda or wine quite frequently. Those types of stains can be buffed or polished out by your dentist. Also, if your veneers have had some recession, that can make them look discolored as well. The only thing to do now is make an appointment with your dentist – don’t waste any more time and money with quick fixes like whitening strips because they won’t work. Your dentist will be able to tell you if the stains can be buffed out, and if not, the only other option would be to do a new set of veneers that match your newly whitened natural teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Alana Macalik. For more information on the services she provides, visit her Arlington cosmetic dentist website.