Discolored teeth are detrimental to the look of your smile, but are also often the easiest cosmetic issues to fix. A cosmetic dentist can help with a teeth whitening treatment or, in some cases, with cosmetic veneers.
Causes of Discoloration
There are two basic types of discoloration—extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration is typically staining that occurs when your teeth are exposed to coffee, tea, nicotine, or other substances that cause stains on the teeth. This type of staining can be effectively treated with teeth whitening. By contrast, intrinsic staining affects the deeper layers of the tooth and often does not respond to whitening treatment, which is designed for surface bleaching.
Discolored teeth are detrimental to the look of your smile, but are also often the easiest cosmetic issues to fix.
Intrinsic discoloration is often the result of exposure to antibiotics or to fluoride while the teeth are developing. It can also occur due to trauma or damage to the tooth. If a tooth begins to turn black, you should see your dentist right away. This usually indicates severe damage to the interior tissues of the tooth. Teeth can also become dull or appear discolored as enamel wears down with everyday wear and tear, causing the darker colored dentin to show.
Treatment for Discoloration
Your cosmetic dentist can determine the cause of your dull or stained teeth and recommend the best treatment to brighten your smile. For extrinsic staining, this is usually a teeth whitening treatment. For intrinsic staining, veneers are often a more effective option.
Teeth whitening can be performed in your dentist’s office, and takes about an hour. You’ll see results right away. You can also use a take-home treatment if your teeth do not respond as well as you’d like to the whitening treatment. If whitening doesn’t produce the results you’d like, veneers might be the better treatment. These thin shells made of porcelain are affixed to the front surfaces of the teeth. They are color-matched and custom-made so your teeth look natural after treatment. If discoloration occurs because of internal damage, treatment with a root canal procedure and a crown might be necessary to preserve your tooth.
Call 817-465-0355 today to schedule your appointment.