No one wants their smile to be yellowish, dingy, or dull. The solution to a less than pearly white smile is professional teeth whitening. However, you should know that teeth whitening may not work quite as well on certain color stains. Fortunately, you do have other options available to fix your cosmetic problem areas. Talk to a cosmetic dentist to find out more.
“One of the reasons why we urge patients to come in for a consult is that the information you’ll find online isn’t tailored to their specific situation,” says Dr. Nick at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry in Huntington. “Teeth whitening is a good example. While it works well on many patients, others need an individually tailored treatment plan,” he added.
Extrinsic tooth stains are those that occur on the outer layer of the tooth. These stains affect the layer of enamel, rather than the inner layer of dentin. Extrinsic stains tend to be yellowish in color. They are often caused by the repeated consumption of pigmented foods and beverages, such as red wine, green tea, blueberries, and marinara sauce.
While extrinsic stains can be unappealing, the good news is that they respond very well to professional-grade teeth whitening. In fact, you’ll notice that your teeth are several shades lighter by the time you leave the dentist’s office! You may need to schedule touch-up appointments about every four to six months to maintain your results, depending on your diet and lifestyle.
As the name implies, intrinsic tooth stains affect the inner layer of dentin, rather than the outer layer of enamel. Because these stains are on the inside of the teeth, they do not respond well to teeth whitening. It may be possible to lighten them, but this may require multiple visits to the dentist’s office for teeth whitening.
Intrinsic tooth stains can occur due to a variety of factors. One common reason is the use of the medication tetracycline, which can cause a bluish-grayish stain. Another possible reason is fluorosis, a condition that can occur during childhood development due to the excessive intake of fluoride. (Drinking fluoridated water and having fluoride treatments as recommended by a dentist will not result in fluorosis.) It’s also possible to develop intrinsic tooth stains as a result of physical trauma to the face, which is why hockey players are often susceptible to them.
Although intrinsic tooth stains may not respond well to tooth whitening treatments, they are treatable in other ways. Your cosmetic dentist may recommend applying porcelain veneers, which are wafer-thin sheets that bond firmly onto the front sides of the teeth to camouflage imperfections like stubborn stains. Another option is to cap the tooth with a crown, which will completely cover it.
To find out whether teeth whitening is a good option for you, schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Nick or Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. We offer chair-side whitening, as well as professional-grade take-home trays for your convenience. If you could benefit from another method of cosmetic enhancement, we also offer beautiful porcelain veneers and same-day dental crowns! Call us in South Huntington, Long Island at 631-212-8025 to request an appointment today!
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