A white smile that lasts is many patients’ desire. When discoloration occurs, however, not all stains are the same and each situation requires a specific treatment. At the practice of Stephen F. Paul, DDS, we provide a variety of cosmetic dental services that enhance the look of your smile. We will recommend a procedure based on the type of staining you have in order to produce the aesthetic you’re seeking.
Surface Stains – Yellow Toned Discoloration
Also known as extrinsic stains, surface stains are typically caused by years of wear and tear as well as drinking liquids are known to discolor teeth, such as tea, wine, coffee, and soda. These types of stains are easily lifted through teeth whitening treatments. While you have the option of using over-the-counter products, there is a large difference in the quality of bleaching agent used in these and the whitening provided by your dentist.
Professional teeth whitening can be conducted during in-office appointments or with take-home trays. If you have a major event to attend, such as a wedding, brightening your smile can be completed in as few as one visit.
Take-home trays work on a more gradual timeline than in-office procedures. These custom trays are fabricated to the contours of your teeth, which keeps the bleaching agent on your teeth and not your gums. Whitening strips, trays, and toothpaste from your drugstore contain a low percentage of active ingredient, which can’t be adjusted. With professional take-home kits, you can speak with your dentist about the right concentration to make treatment most effective.
Intrinsic Stains – Gray Toned Discoloration
These stains are often the result of damage to the dental pulp or old metal restorations, requiring more than just teeth whitening to address. The services recommended improving this type of staining are aesthetic crowns or veneers.
Teeth with intrinsic stains caused by damaged dental pulp may first require root canal therapy. Once the decayed tissue has been removed, a crown fabricated out of an aesthetic material, such as porcelain, will be placed. This restoration not only restores the structure of a treated tooth but protects it from further decay.
Veneers are effective not just for discoloration but for other aesthetic concerns, such as misshaped teeth. They are made of porcelain and polished to mimic the same luminosity as your natural smile. After minor alteration of existing enamel, veneers are bonded to the front-facing surface of teeth, giving them a healthy, white appearance.