The color of your teeth is dependent on a variety of factors. While genetics do play a role in the shade of your teeth, your lifestyle, tooth injuries, and even certain medications can also have an impact. Teeth staining can be either intrinsic or extrinsic.
Extrinsic stains are on the surface of the tooth and are often caused by food and drink. Intrinsic stains go deep within the tooth and are often caused by medication such as tetracycline, tooth injury, fluoride exposure, and other factors.
Both extrinsic and intrinsic staining can contribute to severe discoloration of the teeth. Severely stained teeth can be very problematic. If you are dealing with heavily stained teeth, it can have a major impact on your self-esteem. The good news is that your dentist can help. Here are three options to consider for severely stained teeth.
The first option to consider for severely stained teeth is teeth whitening. Teeth whitening treatments use either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen to remove stains on the teeth. Teeth whitening can be done either at home or at the dentist’s office.
At-home whitening kits work well for minor staining, however, with severe staining, you are more likely to get the best results at your dentist’s office. In-office treatments use a higher concentration of peroxide. In-office teeth whitening can whiten your teeth faster than any at-home treatment available.
While teeth whitening treatments can remove deep staining, it doesn’t work for everyone. The good news is that you if you have deep staining that doesn’t respond to teeth whitening, there are other options available.
2. DENTAL VENEERS
If you have deep staining due to injury, exposure to the antibiotic tetracycline or fluoride, or hereditary issues that lead to darker teeth, whitening may not produce the results you desire. With these types of deep staining, dental veneers are often the best way to get the best results.
Dental veneers are thin shells made up of either porcelain or composite that are affixed to the outside of the teeth. In order to attach the veneers, a small portion of the tooth’s enamel has to be removed. Dental veneers permanently change the underlying tooth structure. However, they also can change the size, shape, and color of your teeth.
If you have severely discolored teeth, veneers may be the right option for you. Before getting veneers, it is important to note that they can be costly and they do not last forever. Veneers typically need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years.
3. DENTAL BONDING
Severe staining is a problem that many deal with, however, not all stains are alike. Some people have large areas of deep staining while others only have small areas with severe discoloration. If you deal with small areas of teeth that have deep stains, dental bonding may help. Dental bonding uses a resin material that when applied to the tooth disguises staining as well as repairs chips, fractures, and other tooth damage.
Dental bonding is a great way to whiten small areas of severe discoloration. An added benefit of dental bonding is that it can be done in just one trip to your dentist. Depending on your situation, dental bonding may also be a great alternative to dental veneers.
Deeply discolored teeth can be difficult to treat, but you have options. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and want a solution for severe staining, then teeth whitening, dental veneers, or dental bonding may work for you. Your dentist can help you determine which options will work best.