Porcelain veneers mimic the translucence of your dental enamel, meaning that the restoration should look seamless. There won't be any discernible difference between the porcelain shell of the veneer and the natural enamel on the tooth next to it. As the years go by, the veneer may become less natural in appearance, even though the porcelain has remained unblemished. What causes this?

Resistance to Discolouration

Compared to acrylic dental restorations, and even natural dental enamel, porcelain veneers will resist discolouration, making them the preferred form of cosmetic dentistry for covering flaws in the tooth's surface. The porcelain isn't especially porous and can maintain its colour for many years. It will still progressively discolour, but this is a slow, drawn-out process. The noticeable discolouration of dental veneers typically strikes around the margins of the porcelain.

The Bonding Agent

While the veneers themselves might have maintained their colour, the bonding agent that attached them to the underlying tooth may not. This bonding agent is essentially plastic, and the process of attaching the veneer to the tooth often leaves a trace amount of bonding agent around the margins of the veneer. This generally isn't a problem, as the bonding agent remains invisible unless it's repeatedly exposed to substances that might stain it. 


There are numerous foods and drinks known to discolour teeth, such as tea, coffee, and red wine, to name just a few. Eventually, this staining can discolour the bonding agent around the margin of your veneer. This can largely be avoided by being careful what your teeth are exposed to and rinsing your mouth out (or ideally brushing your teeth) after consuming foods and drinks known to stain. However, once this margin discolouration has occurred, it can't easily be reversed.

Marginal Discolouration 

Once the problem has been noted, your diligence can prevent the discolouration from worsening. It might already be too pronounced for your liking, and in this instance, your dentist will need to remove the veneer in order to rebond it. This eliminates your marginal discolouration, and it's a matter of doing your best to preserve the newly applied bonding agent by being careful with your oral hygiene after consuming anything with the capacity to discolour the bonding agent.  

Even though the surface of the veneer might still be pristine, the effectiveness of your restoration can be compromised by marginal discolouration. This can require a rebonding of the veneer, but moving forward, you should take care with what you eat and drink.

A cosmetic dentistry clinic can help you with this discolouration.