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Porcelain Veneers and Smoking

By Joe McIntyre, DDS on October 30, 2018

Digital illustration of a porcelain veneer being bonded to the toothThe fact that smoking has adverse effects on your health is certainly no secret. Tobacco use has a tremendous negative impact on your oral and overall wellbeing. In addition to increasing the risk for tooth decay and gum disease, smoking can lead to severe dental discoloration.

In many cases, professional teeth whitening can lessen the effects of tobacco-related stains. However, patients seeking a more dramatic result may benefit from porcelain veneers to mask tooth discoloration. Here, our team at Smiles for Life further explores porcelain veneers and smoking. Contact our Harrisonburg, VA dental practice to learn more.

Why Does Smoking Stain the Teeth?

When using cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, the smoke comes in direct contact with your teeth as you inhale.

The tar, which is extremely dark, then adheres to the enamel, resulting in deep dental stains. Nicotine, while naturally colorless, can become yellow when exposed to the air.

These two factors can contribute to significant dental discoloration.

How Porcelain Veneers Can Conceal Tobacco Stains

As aforementioned, professional teeth whitening can be effective against tobacco stains. That being said, the most dramatic results can be achieved with porcelain veneers. Veneers fit over the front surfaces of the teeth, completely masking tobacco stains and other cosmetic flaws.

To place porcelain veneers, your dentist will remove small amounts of enamel from the affected teeth. This will prepare the teeth for your new veneers.

Next, impressions will be taken of your teeth. These will be used by a technician at our dental lab to craft your new veneers.

While your final veneers are being fabricated, you will be fitted for temporary veneers. Once the permanent veneers are finished, your temporary veneers will be removed and your final veneers will be bonded into place.

Will Smoking Discolor My Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain is stain-resistant, so tobacco use will not cause your veneers to discolor. However, the composite bonding material used to place the veneers may stain, compromising the aesthetics of your smile.

If the teeth and gums are damaged by frequent tobacco use, any existing veneers may need to be removed in order to treat the underlying tooth structure. Because veneers treatment is irreversible, the veneers will need to be replaced if damaged. Because of this, and multiple other reasons, we recommend kicking the habit for good before receiving porcelain veneers.

How Can I Stop Smoking?

At Smiles for Life, we understand that quitting smoking can be an incredibly difficult task. If you are interested in stopping, there is no shame in asking for the help you need.

If you are a tobacco user, we encourage you to talk to us. We can work with you and your primary care physician and offer resources that can help you kick the habit for good.

Contact Smiles for Life to Learn More

To learn more about the effects of smoking on your oral health, or to explore your treatment options, schedule a consultation at our practice. Contact Smiles for Life online or call our office at (540) 828-2312.

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