Everyone enjoys a bright smile. In addition to boosting confidence, a brighter smile can also help make a great first impression. Unfortunately, over time our teeth often develop discoloration. What is the best option for removing or masking teeth stains? Do you need teeth whitening or veneers?
What Causes Teeth Stains?
There are actually two different forms of teeth stains. The most common are known as extrinsic stains, which form on the surface. Causes may include:
- Drinks with dark pigments
- Foods/drinks with high sugar content (causing plaque buildup)
The other type of discoloration is known as intrinsic, which actually form below the enamel. Also known as permanent stains, causes may include:
- Injury to the tooth/teeth
- Tetracycline use
As we will discuss below, the type of cosmetic treatment needed to address your discoloration will depend on the cause and severity of your stains.
We have two different forms of professional teeth whitening. Our one-visit teeth whitening works great for removing extrinsic discoloration. The doctor places a bleaching gel onto the front of the teeth and activates it with a special light. For extrinsic and minor intrinsic teeth stains we have an at-home whitening procedure. The patient brings home a set of trays and a bleaching gel. Each day, the patient wears the gel-filled trays for a set amount of time, removing discoloration in about a week to ten days.
In some cases, permanent stains may not respond to teeth whitening procedures. When this occurs, you may choose veneers to mask the stains. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are custom-made and placed over the front of the teeth. They are stain-resistant and durable, completely altering the tooth’s appearance. If you have any questions about veneers or whitening then please contact our office today.