Many people work hard to keep their teeth looking pearly white. But over time, you might start to develop stains, yellowing, or other discoloration for a number of reasons.
Fortunately, your dentist can help you determine a personalized cosmetic dental treatment plan to brighten your smile if you see stains on your teeth. One way to address these stains is through professional teeth whitening.
Though highly effective at bleaching and lifting stubborn dental stains, not all patients can benefit from this smile enhancement solution. Read on to learn how professional teeth whitening treatment works and whether it will prove successful on your unique smile.
Lift Discoloration Caused by Staining Agents
Teeth whitening treatment from your dentist works best on what experts refer to as extrinsic stains. This refers to discoloration within the outer layer of the enamel that still exists too deep for your usual oral hygiene regimen to remove. These stains come from consuming substances that contain staining agents. Examples include tobacco usage and the consumption of dark-colored foods and beverages.
Professional teeth whitening involves a dentist building custom-fitting trays that suit your unique smile. You take them home and fill them with bleaching gel provided by your dentist and wear the trays as directed.
The gel lifts stubborn stains so they can easily be brushed and scrubbed away, leaving you with a brighter smile. This process when done with a professional rather than an over-the-counter kit ensures even and safe application for improved results with minimized side effects.
Whiten Your Natural Teeth
Teeth whitening treatment from your dentist works on your natural teeth only. If you see discoloration in your dental fixtures, like implants, crowns, veneers, or bonding, this treatment cannot address the aesthetic concern.
You can talk to your dentist about ways to treat discoloration in your existing dental work. In most cases, you will need to replace the fixtures to enhance their color.
Getting a new dental crown or veneer can be expensive, so you should protect your dental work from discoloration by following your dentist’s aftercare instructions. Avoid consuming items with staining agents and stick to a good oral hygiene routine to reduce your risk of discoloration both in your smile and in your dental work.
Ask Your Dentist About Intrinsic Tooth Stains
External staining agents can lead to extrinsic stains on your smile. But you can also develop intrinsic dental discoloration, a type of stain that penetrates deeper into the tooth enamel and will not respond to teeth whitening treatment.
These stains often occur due to factors outside of a patient’s control, like aging, medication side effects, or dental injuries. Bleaching agents in teeth whitening treatment cannot reach that far into your enamel to remove these stains. A dentist can evaluate your smile to determine the type of stain before trying whitening solutions.
If you do form intrinsic stains, a dentist can try other cosmetic dental treatments to enhance your tooth color. They may suggest porcelain veneers to cover these stains and make your smile appear brighter. Learn which treatment will suit your unique smile by scheduling an appointment today.