To Get Whiter Teeth You Don't Always Need Teeth Whitening

To Get Whiter Teeth You Don’t Always Need Teeth Whitening

When a dentist hears that someone wants “Teeth Whitening”, they don’t immediately reach for the teeth whitening gel… sometimes that individual has noticed a discolouration in their teeth that needs a different treatment.

Let’s take a look at some of the situations where teeth have become discoloured, but which don’t require cosmetic teeth whitening to improve their appearance.

Teeth Stained With Plaque, Tartar and Foods

Very often the yellow or brown stains that accumulate on teeth are simply a buildup of plaque, tarter and stains from foods and beverages. The big stainers are tea, coffee, chocolate, red wine, berries and berry jams and (not strictly food and beverages) nicotine.

The Dental Hygienist or Dentist can often brighten teeth back to their former lustre with a professional cleaning. They will no doubt show you a better way to clean your teeth to prevent the staining from reoccurring.

Teeth Discoloured By Fillings

Back Teeth

Some people don’t like the appearance of their back teeth if these contain fillings made of amalgam. This silver-coloured filling material can look black against tooth enamel.

Front Teeth

Usually fillings in front teeth are made of composite resin: when first done, these fillings are often invisible to the eye, and will remain this way for many years. However, in time composite resin becomes porous and takes up stains. They can sometimes start to leak, allow discoloured fluids to leach underneath the filling, creating a greyish or brownish hue visible from the front.

The treatment in both cases involves removal of the old fillings and their replacement using composite resin for the smaller fillings and porcelain inlays, inlays, veneers and crowns for the larger restorations.

Teeth Discoloured by Decay

If the decay has started between the teeth (which is one of the most common places for it to start) the roughness of the cavity may not have been noticed by the individual: however, as the decay progresses deeper into the tooth, it creates a discoloured shadow underneath the enamel, which becomes more and more visible.

Treatment in this case involves removal of the decay and placement of a restoration, either a composite resin filling or a porcelain restoration.

Root-Filled Teeth

The crown of a tooth that has been treated by root canal therapy will often discolour, becoming ever more grey as time progresses. Such a tooth can sometimes be bleached internally: sometimes the best long term results are achieved by placing a porcelain crown over the tooth.

Teeth Resistant to Whitening 

Some teeth just won’t whiten, even with the strongest whitening agents available. The teeth may be internally stained (often caused by long term antibiotic ingestion while the tooth was developing), and some teeth just won’t whiten to the extent that the individual desires.

In these cases, porcelain veneers or crowns are commonly the best solution.

Figuring It Out…

A dentist will first sit and listen to the person’s concerns about the appearance of their teeth: they will record the history and will then examine the teeth carefully. Sometimes the diagnostic process will require other tests, including x-rays.

Armed with this information, the dentist will be able to recommend treatment options that will achieve the person’s desired outcomes.

Sometimes Cosmetic Teeth Whitening IS The Answer

In many cases, cosmetic teeth whitening will achieve the outcome an individual desires. Here at Corinna Dental, we offer Take Home Teeth Whitening Kits, which for many people is an extremely successful way to brighten their smile, and to keep it looking bright.

Just Ask…

The dentists and hygienists at Corinna Dental love answering questions about your teeth and dental health! So if you are at all concerned about the colour of your teeth and would like to discuss how to brighten them, make sure you ask!