How to Clean a Porcelain Veneer?

i just got a porcelain veneer on my front tooth beacuse it was chipped in half. When I go for my cleaning, can the dental hygienist clean the tooth like any other tooth? Can the hygienist polish the tooth and use the cavitron on it? Do I need to have the tooth polished if it has a veneer on it?

Doctor Answers 11

Porcelain Veneers & Cosmetic Dentistry

Porcelain Veneers requires special care and attention to ensure they last a long time.  When brushing I would recommend avoid using a toothpaste that contains more abrasive particles.  Many of thesewill  fall under the category of "Whitening Toothpastes".  Think of you porcelain veneers like a white porcelain kitchen sink.  You would not want to use an abrasive cleaner frequently, as this would create scratches and remove the shiny glaze and.  This would lead to a dull finish and easy staining can occur.   Same is true with your porcelain veneers.

When you are having a professional cleaning done by a hygienist I would also recommend a few precautions.  First make sure that they avoid using a Cavitron (Ultra-Sonic Scaler) directly on the veneers.  This could cause cracking or chipping at the thin margins of the veneers.  Also, make certain that they use a special polishing paste designed specifically for Porcelain Veneers.


Las Vegas Dentist

Porcelain Veneers, cosmetic dentistry, single dark tooth

You pose an excellent question. Whereas properly placed and polished porcelain veneers should be relatively maintenance free, there are some things that dental offices and you can do to extend the live of these veneers. Using a non -abrasive toothpaste is better for the veneer and your teeth as well.  For preventive appointments, it is best to polish the veneers with a paste designed for porcelain such as Proxyt.  

I think the jury is still out there on whether a cavitron or other instruments can damage the veneers at the margin of a well done veneer.  I have seen some of my cases doing great after 18 years.   All in all, be safe and ask the hygienist to use products designed for porcelain veneers.

Ronald Konig DDS
Houston Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

A well trained hygienist is best for veneers.

Hi LosAngeles3933

Your home care should consist of proper brushing with a soft-bristle brush and a non-abrasive toothpaste, as well as daily flossing.

A well trained hygienist can use the cavitron without any problems.  If the hygienist uses prophy cups to polish (the rubber cups on the hand-piece) then a special paste is necessary.  If the hygienist uses a prophy jet  (a better way to polish without spinning rubber cups) then the regular jet-powder is just fine.

Steve Alper, DMD
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Cleaning Porcelain Veneers

When you clean a veneer, use a soft bristled tooth brush, and gently massage the front side of the veneered tooth. Dental plaque doesn't adhere to porcelain the same way it does to enamel, so it doesn't require the same amount of time and strokes of a toothbrush that enamel requires. 

If at the dental office, they should use a special paste made for porcelain, which is usually a very fine diamond polishing paste on the porcelain if they use anything at all.

M. Andrew Atwood, DDS
Bellevue Dentist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Cleaning Veneers

Cleaning veneers are similar to regular teeth. However, I would not advise using a cavitron. Also, one has to be careful cleaning at the margins of the veneers.

David Cheng, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Porcelain veneer hygiene visit slightly different from regular tooth cleaning

If you can return to the office where your veneer was done, that office team is probably trained in how to best maintain porcelain veneers.  With their glaze, veneers rarely stain, but cleaning the margins requires a gentle touch and polishing paste that is specialized to clean porcelain, not regular tooth structure.  If you no longer live near your cosmetic dentist or they don't offer cleanings, find a dental office who places and maintains a lot of porcelain veneers to help protect your investment.

Gerilyn Alfe, DMD
Chicago Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Taking care of your veneers requires attention to detail

Take good care of your porcelain veneers everyday with great homecare.  Using a whitening toothpaste like Supersmile helps prevent stain around the edges.  Use toothpaste and floss so plaque does not build up and cause decay around the edges.  The dental hygienist should clean your veneers just like they clean all of your teeth.  We use special polish cups to smooth edges and check for decay.  As a dentist, I always check for stain and exposed edges and work on them to keep them looking good and to ensure everything is healthy.  Always bring attention to your dental team when you have concerns.   

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

office who does alot of veneers should clean your teeth

Veneers should not be cleaned with a cavitron, it can scratch the porcelain and can debond the veneer if the cavitron is used at the margin. The rough polishing paste can also scratch the porcelain surface.

You are best going to an office where alot of veneers are placed and the hygenist is experienced with cosmetic restorations

Jennifer Jablow, DDS
New York Dentist

Porcelain veneers require experienced hands to clean

Many inexperienced offices, ones that  are not exposed to modern materials, will use the "gritty" toothpaste that is used on the enamel of teeth.  The "gritty" paste is great on teeth, but NOT porcelain veneers.  Experienced offices will have on hand and use diamond polishing paste.

Cavitrons are fine if the hygienist knows how to use it and which setting is best for porcelain veneers.  Cavitrons would only be used along the edges where the tooth structure is and not on the veneer itself.  If a veneer can debond from this, then it would be considered a GOOD thing, as that would indicate that it was poorly done in the first place and a proper veneer could be placed instead.  Well bonded veneers simply don't debond.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

How to clean Porcelain Veneers.

In general, porcelain veneers can be cleaned the same way as all of your other teeth. Veneers themselves are resistant to staining, so most of the time they don't require as much polishing from the dental hygienist.

All teeth, including teeth that have cosmetic dentistry performed on them require thorough cleaning at home and professionally in the office. ALL dental work (including porcelain veneers) join to the tooth at some point. Any place there is tooth is a place that can collect stain or tartar (or form a new cavity in the future).

Veneers can be cleaned with a Cavitron, however my goal would be to see that you are doing an impeccable job cleaning at home, so that there is not much build up, and that the Cavitron (or other ultrasonic cleaners) could be avoided.

When practical, I prefer that my hygienist doesn't use the Cavitron on veneers.

Scott Greenhalgh, DDS
Denver Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.