Imagine you bought a white t-shirt and wore it everyday for a month. Would it still be white by the end of the month? Chances are it would probably be dull, dirty, and stained. Unfortunately, the same thing happens with your teeth. While regular brushing and flossing do help to prevent and remove some stains, over time your teeth will become discolored. The degree of discoloration will depend on a number of factors including age, genetics, diet, and oral habits, to name a few.
Unfortunately, stains naturally accumulate over time because our teeth are porous. This means that they absorb colored pigments from foods and beverages. These colored pigments are absorbed by the outer enamel, as well as into the dentin layer just below the enamel. Depending on the foods and beverages we consume, our teeth can become discolored in a variety of ways.
One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your smile is to simply remove the stains from your teeth. Removing stains will make your teeth about 5-10 shades whiter, which will brighten your face and even make you appear instantly younger. Nowadays, there are a variety of ways to remove stains and restore a bright, white smile. With that being said, the best cosmetic dental treatments for stained teeth are:
Professional Teeth Bleaching
This is currently the most popular cosmetic dental treatment due to its affordability and ease of treatment. Professional teeth bleaching sessions can be completed in as little as 30-60 minutes and generally only require one dental appointment. During a teeth bleaching procedure, your teeth will first be cleaned and isolated to protect your gums. Some dentists even use custom whitening trays to prevent the bleaching agent from irritating your gums. The bleaching agent is applied to the surface of your teeth and left in place for 30-60 minutes before being removed. Teeth bleaching works by initiating a chemical reaction that dissolves stains.
For stubborn or severe stains, dental veneers can also be an option. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells applied to the front surface of visible teeth. Rather than remove stains, veneers will simply cover up the stain. They are ideal for cases where stains are being caused by age, genetics, or medications, and cannot be removed adequately by bleaching the teeth.
Another cosmetic dental treatment for severe tooth stains are dental crowns. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that cover the entire visible portion of the tooth. Like veneers, crowns will cover up stains, however they will cover all of the tooth instead of just the front. Having a crown placed over a stained tooth is especially ideal when the tooth is towards the back of the mouth, since veneers are generally only recommended for use in the front of the mouth.
Overall, teeth bleaching, veneers, and crowns are the best cosmetic dental treatments for stained teeth. Teeth bleaching can help remove stains, while veneers and crowns both offer different options for concealing them. In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be recommended to obtain the best results. With these treatments, your teeth can be pearly white instead of stained like an old t-shirt.
Dr. Roman Fedorciw has been in private practice in Cromwell since 1991. He is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association. He is also a member of the Connecticut Dental Association and Middlesex County Dental Association. Dr. Fedorciw has been acknowledged by his peers as one of the “Top Dentists” in Hartford County by Hartford Magazine and in the state of Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine.