I need some advice. I had four porcelain veneers placed not too long ago. Since having them bonded, my gums have been very inflamed. I’ve gone back to get some help from my dentist but they just accused me of babying my teeth and not brushing adequately. I have to admit, I found that insulting. I take care of my teeth and have never had problems with my gums my entire life. Why would I stop taking care of them after investing in improving their appearance? At my last follow-up appointment, the dentist did remove some excess cement that was caught there. My dentist said that is standard. I was hoping that was the cause of my inflammation. While it did help, it didn’t solve the issue. What do I go from here?
I do not blame you for feeling insulted by your dentist’s response to your concerns. Most cosmetic dentists find that patients take better care of their teeth after a smile makeover. They are proud of their new smile and want to keep it in top-notch shape. Like you, I doubt that you are the problem.
Possible Causes of Gum Inflammation
Above is a picture of two lateral incisors with porcelain veneers that have inflammed gums. If this dentist were trying to become accredited from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, this case would have kept him from acheiving that goal. A healthy result for the patient is a minimal expectation.
One of the leading causes of gum irritation and inflammation is not cleaning off all the excess cement. It is informative to me that you still had excess bonding cement at a follow-up appointment. Dentists who do a lot of porcelain veneers have a system to keep this from happening. They will tack on the veneer by curing the cement in the middle. Then they will clean off the excess cement while it is still soft. Even though the dentist removed some excess cement at your follow up does not mean he was thorough and got all of it.
A second possible cause of inflammed gums is some unevenness where the veneers meet the teeth. This can cause bacteria to get trapped between the veneers and the gums leading to both inflammation and decay.
I am going to suggest you see an expert cosmetic dentist and have them look at your veneers and gums to make an evaluation as to what is going on. If it is necessary that they be replaced, he can help you secure a refund. Then, I suggest you go to that expert to have them redone properly.
So, how will you go about finding an expert cosmetic dentist? My suggestion is you go to aacd.com and use their “Find a Cosmetic Dentist” link. Make sure you put a checkmark indicating you are looking for an AACD accredited dentist. These are the best cosmetic dentists in the country.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.