Some people are unconcerned about their stained or discoloured teeth, but those that care about their appearance and smile prefer to improve the condition and colour of their teeth for self-image and confidence.
At Baker Street Dental Clinic we provide patients with options in teeth whitening and restoration to improve smile aesthetics.
Our selection of dental stain removal and teeth whitening treatments help teeth that have discoloured over time or become stained from foods, beverages and tobacco. Teeth stains and discolouration may occur naturally too.
Teeth discolouration and stains are not uncommon. However, they can affect self-esteem and facial expression if people feel insecure about the condition of their teeth. Work and social interactions may feel more stressed, particularly when engaging with new acquaintances.
Extrinsic Dental Stains
Surface tooth stains or extrinsic dental stains may result from acidic or sugary foods, tea, coffee, red wine and fizzy drinks. Medications, such as antibiotics, may also change teeth appearance. Children’s teeth sometimes start to stain due to use of certain antibiotics.
Poor oral hygiene is also a major contributor to stained and discoloured teeth. Plaque forms a sticky yellow layer over the teeth and turns into yellowy brown tartar, if not regularly cleaned through daily dental hygiene practice and professional dental cleaning and scaling.
It is best to always seek dentist advice about good oral hygiene technique and products because certain products, such as antibacterial chlorhexidine mouthwash, may also cause teeth discolouration.
Intrinsic Dental Stains
Inner structural tooth stains appear as brown and white marks on the teeth, and may be caused by excessive amounts of fluoride. Genetics also plays a role in the formation of intrinsic tooth stains. When enamel wears or erodes teeth may also develop a brown-coloured appearance, because the inner dentin layer is no longer protected by the hard enamel outer tooth surface.
Tooth damage, acidic and sugary foods, and medications, can erode tooth enamel, as can teeth grinding and an improper bite. Tooth decay is a common cause of extrinsic and intrinsic dental staining. Good oral hygiene practice and regular dental check-ups combined with a healthy lifestyle help to keep teeth free of plaque and white in colour.
Treating Extrinsic and Intrinsic Dental Stains
Surface tooth stains are easier to treat than deeper intrinsic tooth stains, where discolouration affects thin enamel and inner dentin layers. We assess the condition of an individual’s teeth and provide recommendations for stain removal treatment to best suit dental health needs.
Patients can choose from the following choices in dental stain removal treatment:
Patients are provided with both dentist-supervised home teeth whitening and in-clinic power teeth whitening options for a whiter, brighter smile.
With home teeth whitening, the dentist prepares custom-made trays containing whitening gel or solution, which are then applied to the teeth at home. Although over-the-counter teeth whitening products are an option, these may be overused or not used correctly and result in tooth damage. A safer option is to receive dentist advice about teeth whitening.
Other teeth whitening products such as whitening toothpastes, whitening strips and mouth rinses do not achieve the same white shade and results as tray-based and power teeth whitening treatments.
Professional teeth whitening treatment may be tray-based or light-cured, for longer lasting and faster results. In-clinic teeth whitening treatment is ideal for those who want to look their best on a special occasion. Patients may choose a tooth shade and teeth can be whitened within an hour.
When teeth are damaged or chipped due to wear, they may appear discoloured. White composite may be used to restore teeth, giving them a whiter, natural look. White composite treatment may be a cheaper alternative to other teeth enhancing treatments, such as porcelain veneers. Veneers may also be made out of dental composite to mask unsightly teeth stains and discolouration for a beautiful smile.
Porcelain veneers are designed to be wafer-thin and bond to the teeth, enhancing their shade and shape. There are a range of veneer options to choose from for celebrity-styled smiles. Lumineers are also a type of veneer that is ultra-thin in style, adhering to teeth with minimal tooth preparation necessary.
Snap-On Smiles are a non-invasive means to cover tooth stains and discolouration without tooth preparation, such as etching. Made from flexible material, similar to a mouth guard, but more elegant in design, Snap-On Smiles are designed to fit snugly over the teeth to feel and look like healthy natural teeth.
Individuals often opt for Snap-On Smile treatment before having porcelain veneers, to get an idea of what their enhanced smile will look like. Snap-On Smiles are also ideal for temporary use and special occasions. However, if cared for properly, Snap-On Smiles may last for years.