The Edge of My Porcelain Veneer is Stained

I just noticed that there is a stain on one of my four porcelain veneers. The three others do not have any discoloration. But after I had a cleaning a couple months ago, I started to see a little grayish stain near the top of one of my veneers. Do you think it could have been damaged during the cleaning? Do you know how I can get this cleaned off?

– Daniel from New Mexico


It is always difficult to give specific recommendations without having seen your case firsthand. Discoloration varies from case to case and often times correlates to how old the veneers are. Although, here are some generalizations for your consideration.

Typically, when placed by an expert cosmetic dentist, porcelain veneers are extremely stain-resistant. They are actually more stain-resistant than your normal teeth. The color usually remains unchanged for many years. The staining may have resulted from some surface damage that occurred on the veneer. What could have happened is that the glaze may have had some imperfections that resulted from some of the polishing equipment or acid in the cleaning agents used at the dentist. Another possibility could be that something has managed to get between the veneer and your natural tooth.

Without knowing how old your veneers are, let’s make an assumption that they are over 10 – 20 years old. If this is the case and you notice the discoloration near the edge like you have described, it will most likely remain stained in that small area of a couple of millimeters or so.

If this is actually the case, then the gray area is from leakage called microleakage. At first it is simply a small stain, but over time it may form tooth decay. If this truly is the case, you need to seek out the talents of an expert cosmetic dentist to get this taken care of so the tooth underneath the veneer doesn’t suffer damage. This type of stain will not be able to be polished away and will likely need replacement. Again, these are all assumptions. But if they are accurate than the staining likely did not occur during the cleaning you mentioned.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix cosmetic dentist Dr. Arthur Chal.

Related link: maintenance for porcelain veneers


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