When it comes to enhancing a patient's smile, a cosmetic dentist may utilize a variety of treatment options to achieve the desired look. One of the most commonly used procedures in cosmetic dentistry is applying veneers to teeth that are permanently discolored, irregularly sized or shaped, or unevenly spaced in the mouth. While this technique…
Cosmetic Dentistry: What to Do About Discolored Teeth
Cosmetic dentistry aims to address problems like discolored teeth. It is a branch of dentistry that focuses on mainly fixing issues that affect the way that teeth and gums look.
Stains and discoloration are two common issues that dentists deal with. Teeth start off pearly white, but they pick up stains and discoloration over the years. Some stains are from the tannins, or coloring agents, in foods and beverages like coffee, yellow-tinted teeth develop with age as the enamel becomes thinner, and yellow stains come from using tobacco products.
Teeth can also become stained as a result of health issues, like overexposure to fluoride or tooth decay. Some medications, like tetracycline antibiotics, can also stain teeth.
How cosmetic dentistry addresses stained teeth
There are several cosmetic dentistry treatments that can be effectively used to eliminate stains and discoloration. It often comes down to the types of stains on the patient’s teeth and if other issues also need to be addressed. Popular cosmetic dentistry treatments used to remove stains and discoloration from teeth include the following.
1. Teeth whitening
Teeth whitening treatments use chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen carbamide to remove stains from the inner and outer layers of teeth. These treatments can improve the color of a person’s teeth by up to eight shades and are effective on the most common types of stains caused by aging, food, or smoking. Teeth whitening treatments are typically performed with a customized mouth tray that is used to prevent the bleaching product from getting into gum tissues and causing irritation.
2. Composite bonding
This is one of the cheapest ways to get rid of stains and discoloration, especially when it only affects one tooth. Composite bonding involves using composite resin to cover up discoloration and is an effective way to get rid of any type of stain on a tooth.
The composite used is color-matched with the patient’s natural teeth, so the restored tooth blends in with the rest. It only takes about 45 minutes to restore a tooth with composite, and the result can last for years.
These restorations are masks that cover up flaws on a person’s teeth. A veneer can be used to hide discoloration or stains on a tooth by cementing it to the front part. The rest of the tooth remains exposed, so veneers are usually recommended when the discoloration only affects the front part of the tooth. The installation of veneers requires multiple trips to the dentist, but it can lead to results that last over 15 years.
Crowns are covers that go over the entire visible part of a tooth. They can be used to cover up any type of stain. A crown looks like a real tooth, so it is virtually impossible to tell if a person has a crown.
We can brighten your smile
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The term “cosmetic” causes many people to brush off the idea of visiting a cosmetic dentist to fix serious oral health problems. Oftentimes, this is the result of major misconceptions about possible treatments and the feeling that procedures are purely about fixing appearance. However, this form of dentistry usually goes far beyond aesthetic appeal. It…
The focus of a cosmetic dentist is on improving the overall appearance of the smile. To achieve this goal, dental professionals employ a variety of common treatments.Some patients seek cosmetic dental procedures due to accident, illness, or trauma that has affected the appearance of the smile. Others want to change the appearance of the mouth…
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