Porcelain veneers are a versatile and simple way to correct many aesthetic problems with your teeth. Compared to procedures such as extensive orthodontic work for minor gaps between the teeth, veneers are much more affordable and convenient. For stains or discoloration, though, veneers are not always the best choice.
Extrinsic versus Intrinsic Staining
Two types of staining can affect your teeth—extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining. Common causes of extrinsic staining include:
- Beverages such as coffee or tea
- Deeply colored foods
This type of staining only affects the outside surface of the teeth. In general, extrinsic staining is most effectively treated with tooth whitening, but if it is extreme or does not respond to tooth whitening treatment, veneers might be the best solution.
Intrinsic staining occurs when the material that makes up the entire tooth is discolored. The most common causes of intrinsic staining are:
- Excessive fluoride intake while teeth are developing
- Use of certain antibiotics
- Injury to the teeth
Intrinsic staining usually does not respond successfully to surface tooth whitening. In these cases, porcelain veneers are the best treatment to restore teeth to their original color.
Are Porcelain Veneers a Permanent Solution?
If your cosmetic dentist has recommended porcelain veneers for your stained teeth, you might wonder how long the veneers will keep your teeth white. The longevity of your veneers depends largely upon how well you take care of them.
Although veneers can correct extrinsic staining, they are not immune to additional staining. Porcelain is a porous material, just like natural tooth enamel, so if you continue to drink large quantities of tea or coffee, or continue to smoke regularly, the veneers can become stained in the same way as the enamel of your natural teeth. Veneers can also become stained if they are not cleaned properly.
To find out more about porcelain veneers, how they work, and how to care for them, please contact a cosmetic dentist in Dallas.