My Teeth Are Dark Beneath My Veneers. Can I Whiten Them?

I got Lumineers in 2010, and although I had problems with them falling off, I finally got that issue fixed by visiting a different dentist. Since February 2020, my teeth beneath the veneers began turning dark. Also, the veneers do not fit well at my gums anymore. My veneers are not as white as some of my friends’ natural teeth. Is the issue with the veneers or my teeth beneath them? Can a dentist remove the veneers, clean and whiten my teeth and bond them on again? – Anika from GA


You have had an unfortunate experience with porcelain veneers. We hope that it will not take long to find an experienced cosmetic dentist to correct the issue.

Why Are Teeth Dark Beneath Porcelain Veneers?

When your teeth are dark beneath your porcelain veneers, the veneers are leaking. You no longer have a tight seal between the veneers and your teeth. That is why your veneers are separating from your gumline. Fluid and bacteria leak in, cause staining, and promote decay.

The first dentist who bonded your veneers did not do it correctly. That’s why they were falling off. But it seems that the second dentist did not understand how to re-bond porcelain veneers. Several steps are required.

Can Porcelain Veneers Be Re-Bonded?

A trained cosmetic dentist can re-bond your porcelain veneers. But it takes care using these steps:

  • Remove and clean the veneers
  • Remove the old bonding material with sand-blasting equipment
  • Clean your teeth
  • Etch the inner surface of the porcelain with hydrofluoric acid
  • Prime the veneers
  • Bond them onto your teeth

After the above process, your veneers will remain on your teeth without leaking for many years.

Can You Remove and Clean Your Veneers?

Photo of upper and lower teeth whitening trays in a blue case; for information on free teeth whitening from the office Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
A dentist will not be able to remove your veneers to whiten your teeth

Removing the veneers, whitening your teeth, and bonding the veneers on again is risky. Your veneers are not loose, so they will probably break in the process. A dentist must grind the veneers off your teeth. At this point, it is best to replace your porcelain veneers.

This time, look for an advanced cosmetic dentist with post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training. You can schedule consultations with one or two cosmetic dentists before you ask for an exam.

Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy sponsors this post.

My Teeth Are Too Sensitive to Clean

No matter how much I have my teeth cleaned, I still have deep pockets between my teeth and gums. My teeth are sensitive and painful. Two weeks ago, I went in for a cleaning and had to leave because it hurt so bad. My dental insurance lapsed, and I can only pay so much for dental care. This dentist works with my budget, but I am concerned that I am going to lose all my teeth before I can pay for another deep cleaning. Maybe it was a mistake to let the office do the first deep cleaning. What can I do? Thank you. Dominici from TN


You have advanced gum disease, and you need to take care of it. If the dentist you have seen works with your budget and gives good dental care, talk to him or her about it. You may need to ask for a periodontist (gum specialist) to avoid losing your teeth.

Painful deep teeth cleaning

Photo of a woman in a dental chair with a dentist and hygienst on either side of her; for information on affordable dentistry from Plano TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Find an affordable dentist you can trust

Often before deep cleaning, a hygienist will apply local anesthetic to minimize your discomfort. Infected and inflamed gums must be cleaned deeply—to where your teeth and gums are attached. But the pain you described sounds more severe.

Sometimes deep cleaning can provoke an active infection, which increase inflammation and pain. Your dentist can prescribe antibiotics for you to take until you complete deep cleaning appointments. And you can phase the deep cleaning. Schedule two appointments and wait a week or two before completing treatment—but take the antibiotics until treatment is complete.

Time to switch dentists

We recommend that you find another dentist who will work with your budget by offering payment plans or financing. Your dentist has not readily referred you to a periodontist to control your gum disease. Treatment from a periodontist will be effective and more comfortable.

Aggressive gum disease leads to tooth loss

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, aggressive gum disease (periodontitis) causes your gums to detach from your teeth and leads to jawbone loss. You must resolve the issue promptly to avoid losing your teeth.

Miranda Lacy, DDS, a female dentist in Plano, TX, sponsors this post.