Causes of Grey Lines on Veneers 1 Year Post Op?

Hi, I had 8 veneers placed on my upper teeth about 12 month ago. Recently I started noticing grey lines near the gum line which made veneers look darker than they were. When I went for a second opinion to the different dentist, she said veneers were not bonded properly and moreover, the shape of them not smooth enough under the gum line which creates a "shelf" for bacteria to grow (x-ray showed no cavity under veneers though). Could this be a cause of these gray rims near the gum line?

Doctor Answers 8

Could be stain, could be metal

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I'm sorry you're having issue with them in such a short time.  Unfortunately, it could be due to a couple of things 1) Stain  at the margin 2) Decay because of a bond failure 3) Could be metal.  

I have seen many instances where people have come in to my office because they didn't like the appearance of their "Veneers".  When in actuality they were crowns .  And worse they were PFM crowns (Porcelain Fused to metal).  Probably not PFM's but without doing an examination, I'm just throwing it out there. 

Gray line around porcelain veneers

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Based on your description it seems like the veneers were not bonded to tooth structure properly and caused discoloration and food trap under the margin of the veneers. When the process of bonding is  done with some shortcuts these complications can occur. The biggest risk in such situation will be decay under the veneers and periodontal inflammation. So you should be extremely careful with hygiene and keeping these areas extremely clean. 

Grey lines under porcelain veneers usually means contamination

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When bonding porcelain it is critical to control blood and saliva. If moisture is not controlled a grey line can show within months. It is likely not decay and only a cosmetic issue, but would need complete replacement to change.   If there was a shelf for bacteria to grow, the problem would be gums related and not a grey line issue.

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Grey lines around porcelain veneers

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Your dentist should look at the margins with high magnification to see if there is excess cement left on the margins.  Dark lines are either due to extra cement or due to veneers not tightly seated enough and leaving a small gap betweeen the veneer and tooth which traps food, bacteria and eventually becomes stained or decayed.  If the problem is excess cement, it's easily fixed, but if there are gaps, that may be difficult to correct without replacing at least some of the veneers.

Michael Firouzian, DDS
Columbus Dentist

Grey Lines post op.

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Without knowing the history of your case it is hard to be 100% sure. However, I would agree that it is probably a bonding issue most of the time. Where you gums bleeding when the temporaries were take off?? How long where you wearing the temporaries?? It is possible that some blood or saliva contaminated the bonding procedure, and that the gray lines are showing that. Have any of the teeth had root canals?? Sometimes after a root canal the root can turn dark and give the tooth a gray appearance. If your veneers are over contoured at the gum line and rough, it may be possible to have the dentist recontour them, and see if that helps?? Do you smoke?? It could be possible the gray is staining of the resin cement used  due to smoking. I would recommend recontouring them at  the gum line first. However, be prepared if you do not get the results that you like, you may need to have them redone.

James Merrett, DDS
San Antonio Dentist

Micro leakage during the process of bonding veneers can cause staining

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Micro leakage during the process of bonding veneers can cause staining, and some bonding cements can do the same . If you have openings on top of veneers , you will get decay. You need to replace them .

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

Grey line at margin of veneers

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If the cause is  only the "bulkiness" of the margins, resulting in bacterial build-up, then it would be worth trying to polish the margins "razor-thin", and see if that helps. If the cause is "poor bonding technique", however, then you have no choice but to remove the veneers and begin again. You really have nothing to lose (except time and a few dollars) trying to "thin - out) the margins first, unless it's obviously a poor bonding. 

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

Causes of Grey Lines on Veneers 1 Year Post Op?

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The bonding of veneers onto teeth is a very technique sensitive procedure and if not handled properly can lead to bacterial micro leakage.  Micro leakage can cause dark staining at the gumline.  It sounds like your second opinion was accurate in her descriptions.  Unfortunately if this is the case the veneers will need to be redone.  If you send me close up photos of these grey areas I can give you more information.  I hope that helps.

James D. Salazar, DDS
Encinitas Dentist

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.