Will teeth whitening work on my dentures?


I’ve only had my dentures for 3 years and they look dingy. I paid too much for them for them to look like this. My dentist keeps telling me to use denture cleaner, but I do that regularly and I keep my dentures clean, very clean. I’m beginning to think that the dentures are low quality, even though they were expensive. I want to preserve them as long as possible so I don’t have to get new ones but the color of the denture teeth is bothering me. My sister suggested that I try whitening strips on them. Will this work? What brand do you recommend? Thanks. Ethel

Ethel – The situation with your dentures is unfortunate. It does sound like you’ve invested in poor-quality dentures. Neither teeth whitening strips nor any other form of whitening will change the color of your dentures. The teeth in the appliance are colorfast. Although stains can be removed from them with denture cleaner, you won’t be able to make them lighter than the original color.

It seems that you’re taking good care of your dentures. Although teeth whitening won’t work, continue to do what you can to preserve them. Below are a few tips.

  • Use pastes and cleaners specifically designed for dentures. Many types of toothpaste are too abrasive for denture teeth.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean the appliance and your gums, tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth.
  • Remove your dentures before you sleep overnight.
  • Avoid boiling your dentures. Extreme heat can permanently destroy the shape.
  • Don’t bleach your dentures. Bleach is not meant for oral appliances, and it can be toxic.
  • If stubborn stains aren’t removed with denture cleaner, they can be ultrasonically cleaned in your dentist’s office.
  • Keep your dentures moist. Safely store them in a mild soaking solution.
  • Ensure you store your appliance out of the reach of children and pets.

In time you will need new dentures. When you do, find an accredited cosmetic dentist. He or she is trained in dental aesthetics. You will receive high-quality, cosmetic dentures that look natural. Your prosthesis will be customized to complement your facial features and preferences. You’ll have input on the shape and color of the denture teeth, too.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

My porcelain veneer is noticeably too long


My left top incisor was chipped when I was 27 years old. My dentist did a good job of bonding it and even I couldn’t tell where the chip was. I have to look at an old picture with the chipped tooth to pinpoint exactly where it was broken. Now I’m 49 yrs old. Within the past 2 months I noticed that the bonding was starting to get weak and chip away. I switched dentists last fall because my former dentist moved out of state. My current dentist said that I need a crown not bonding this time. I didn’t agree to a crown after he explained that he would have to grind down my tooth. So his next recommendation was a porcelain veneer. I shouldn’t have agreed to it, but I did. The porcelain veneer is longer than the tooth next to it. I called the office 1 ½ week ago and complained about the way the veneer looks. I saw my dentist early last week and he took a look at it and he said it looks fine. I asked him to see if he could do something about it. He removed the veneer and cleaned it. Then he rebonded it. Now it’s too long AND crooked. So he just made things worse. So removing it and rebonding it implied that maybe the dentist thought he put it on too low so it looked longer that it really is. I think the veneer is just plain too long. I was pretty frank and told my dentist that I hate the veneer. He said he can order another one and I told him I will call the office to let him know what I decide. I don’t trust the process. Should I just leave this dentist and find somebody who knows what they are doing? Thanks. Timothy


Yes, you should leave the dentist and find one who knows what he or she is doing.

Your porcelain veneer needs to be examined to determine the real issue. If your veneer was bonded incorrectly the second time, it might have been incorrectly bonded in the first place. It is also possible that the ceramist who made the veneer didn’t get correct instructions on the size and proportions of the veneer.

We are also concerned why your dentist didn’t think that dental bonding was still an option. Was your dentist uncomfortable with his ability to match the bonding to your tooth? Was there something different about the tooth structure that would prevent dental bonding from correctly restoring it this time?

We suggest that you find an experienced and accredited cosmetic dentist to examine your tooth and porcelain veneer. A dentist who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has proven experience, skill, and training in aesthetic restoration of teeth. He or she will let you know what went wrong, as well as your options for restoring your tooth. You can also consider asking your dentist for a refund or some type of compensation for the expense of having your tooth properly restored.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.