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Gum Inflammation after Porcelain Veneers

I recently had a smile makeover done. The results improved my smile, so I’ve been very careful to be diligent with my oral health care. Since then, my gums have become inflamed. I went back to the dentist after a month and the hygienist tried to blame me for not brushing enough. When the dentist came in he did remove some excess cement which helped a bit. Should I ask for a recommendation for a periodontist?


Dear Liza,

It is infuriating when dentists blame the patient. We have always found when we do a smile makeover with porcelain veneers, the patients love their new smiles so much they are even more diligent with their care than they were before. It is much more likely that the dentist did something wrong. In fact, I know yours did.

Inflammed gums with porcelain veneers would fail an AACD accreditation review.

If a dentist is trying to obtain accreditation through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, one of the things the review committee will look for, in addition to the beauty of the results, is the health of the gums. For instance, if the picture above would have been submitted, it would have failed because the two lateral incisors are inflamed.

You mentioned that your dentist removed some dental cement at a one-month follow-up appointment. This should have been done at the initial appointment. A skilled cosmetic dentist will cure the cement in the center of the porcelain veneers and then remove the excess cement while it is still soft and cannot irritate the patient’s gums.

One issue, if your gums are still irritated after he removed some cement, that means there is still some there that needs to be removed. If that isn’t the issue, it could be that the margins of the veneers are off. This means the veneers aren’t flush the way they should be.

When the margins aren’t properly set, then things can get trapped there causing both irritation to the gums as well as decay underneath the veneers.

Getting to the Bottom of the Problem

You mentioned going to a periodontist. While they are gum disease specialists, they will be unlikely to be able to tell you what is the root cause of the problem. If it is the margins, the porcelain veneers will need to be re-done in order to protect your teeth.

I’m going to suggest that you have an expert cosmetic dentist look at this. Either go to an AACD accredited dentist or one recommended by mynewsmile.com. These dentists are all pre-screened for their technical knowledge as well as their artistry. They will know exactly what is wrong with the veneers and can advise you on what your next step should be.

If it turns out the margins are the problem and the dentist needs to re-do them, it should be done at your dentist’s expense, not yours.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.