Can You Whiten Composite Veneers?

Written by Dr. Reuben Sim
Published: 15-05-2022


composite bonding

If you’re looking to invest in a set of veneers, it’s important to carefully consider which type will be best for you. Your aesthetic goals, budget, and durability expectations will all come into play here.

No matter which option you choose, you’ll need to take proper care of your newly repaired smile. Appropriate aftercare will help to prevent discolouration, chipping, or damage, and keep your veneers looking and feeling as amazing as they did when they were first put in.

Even so, life happens — we drink beverages and eat foods that may stain certain types of veneers. If discolouration is occuring, can you whiten composite veneers?

Below, we look at the different types of veneers, unpack whether or not you can whiten them, and explain how to keep them in perfect condition.

What Are Composite Veneers?

Veneers are shell-like caps that fit over your natural teeth to improve the look, shape and feel of your smile and bite. There are two types of veneers currently available: porcelain and composite veneers.

Before veneers are applied, your teeth may require some extra preparation. Your dentist may need to shave or grind down your natural teeth to ensure that the veneers sit properly over your teeth and line up neatly with your gums.

Composite veneers are made out of a resin material. There are actually two subtypes of composite veneers. First, we have direct composite veneers. For this subtype, the resin is applied directly to the teeth and shaped freehand by your dentist. This process is minimally invasive, quick, and cheaper than the other options.

Indirect composite veneers are created outside of your mouth in a lab or dental office. You will be given a set of temporary veneers while you wait for your permanent ones to be made. When they’re ready, they will be applied to the teeth with an adhesive. Indirect composite veneers are more durable than direct composite veneers, but the process takes longer and is usually more costly.

Composite veneers tend to last 2 to 5 years before needing to be replaced.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

These veneers are made from a porcelain material. Your dentist will need to take a mould of your teeth to prepare porcelain veneers in the laboratory. This can take a week or more, so as with indirect composite veneers, you’ll be given temporary veneers in the meantime. Porcelain veneers are cemented to the front of the teeth, then shaped accordingly.

Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers, but for good reason. They provide a more natural look than resin veneers because porcelain reflects light in the same way that real tooth enamel does.

Porcelain is also a more durable material than resin, so porcelain veneers last much longer than composite veneers. Composite veneers usually require regular replacements and repairs because they are more prone to chipping, staining, and damage. Porcelain veneers can last anywhere between 5 to 15 years or even longer, depending on how well you care for them.

While porcelain veneers take longer to apply than composite veneers, they are well worth the wait. They are custom made and better equipped to fix severely stained or incorrectly positioned teeth.

Porcelain veneers

Do Veneers Discolour?

When it comes to colour quality, porcelain veneers are the superior option. Porcelain veneers actually don’t discolour over time because porcelain is a stain-resistant material. Many patients opt for porcelain veneers for this very reason.

Unfortunately, resin does not contain the same stain-resistant properties, so composite veneers can gradually become discoloured. They won’t stain as quickly as your natural teeth — they don’t absorb the colours of the food that you eat like your real teeth do. However, over time, composite veneers will begin to discolour. Surface stains may become especially pronounced if you regularly drink black coffee, tea, or red wine.

Composite veneers may also discolour due to:

  • Your age — Our gums tent to recede as we age. If your gums recede, you may find that your natural teeth are exposed just above where the veneer finishes. This can cause brown discolouration lines to form where the veneer bonds to the tooth.
  • Older veneers — Composite veneers are not as durable as porcelain veneers, so they may discolour over time due to natural wear and tear.
  • Damaged teeth — If the inner tissue of the tooth is damaged, your natural tooth can become discoloured. The discolouration of the tooth underneath can make your veneers appear yellowed.

Can You Whiten Veneers?

While your natural tooth enamel may respond well to tell teeth whitening, the same cannot be said for veneers. Neither composite resin nor porcelain veneers are suitable for whitening, and the last thing you want is for your veneers to develop an uneven colour after bleaching them.

If you are experiencing discolouration, visit your dentist to discuss these concerns. Professional dental cleans can help to remove surface stains from veneers. If they are extremely discoloured, they may need to be replaced altogether.

Looking After Your Veneers

Practising good dental hygiene is essential to keep your veneers in perfect condition.

Your dental care routine is just as important with veneers as it is with your real teeth. So, ensure you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. You will also need to keep up with regular biannual dentist check-ups.

If you have composite veneers, avoid food and drink that is prone to staining, such as red sauces, beetroot, berries, black coffee, and red wine. Where you can, brush your teeth directly after meals. At the very least, rinse your mouth with water after eating. This can help to prevent staining and increase the lifespan of your veneers.

Do Veneers Stain

Porcelain Veneers At Dental Boutique

When it comes to durability, overall look and feel, and colour quality, porcelain veneers are unmatched. That’s why we use porcelain for our veneers at Dental Boutique.

Our exclusive brand of porcelain veneers, VeneerMeâ„¢, is made in-house at our ceramics lab. Our incredible artisans work with the best materials and technology to deliver an amazing smile every time.

Visit our dedicated page for more information about our porcelain veneers treatment.

You can also get in touch if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment.