Your smile is one of the first things that people will notice about you, which may cause you some anxiety if your teeth are discoloured or stained. In a survey from last year, a fifth of respondents stated their teeth negatively affected their confidence more than their physique, hair, or wrinkles. Just over 60% admitted to being wrongly called ‘miserable’ because they don’t smile often.
If you aren’t happy with your teeth, don’t let it hinder your self-esteem and cause you stress. There are several ways to achieve a bright set of pearly whites.
Cause and diagnoses
To determine which treatment is most suitable for your teeth, try to identify what’s prompted the stains and discolouration.
Yellowing teeth is often a sign of smoking or poor oral hygiene. However, certain beverages can stain the enamel, such as fizzy pop, coffee, and red wine.
Discoloured teeth can also be age-related. As you get older, the enamel thins and exposes the dentin, a yellowish layer of tissue underneath the enamel.
However, there are several other reasons for discoloured teeth, so it’s best to seek the advice of a dental professional to determine the cause.
Professional teeth cleaning
Minor stains on teeth from the likes of coffee can often be removed with professional teeth cleaning during a routine dental appointment. While this won’t lighten the shade of your teeth, it will remove visible surface stains and plaque. Stain removal procedures can also improve the results of teeth whitening.
This treatment doesn’t involve any chemicals and achieves results quickly using a jet of water, air, and bicarbonate particles. However, a deeper clean may be needed to lift stubborn stains.
Whitening treatments help to lighten the natural shade of your teeth to achieve a brighter smile. Shop-bought teeth whitening treatments, such as toothpaste and whitening strips, often don’t make a noticeable change due to a low concentration of peroxide.
For best and safest results, visit a cosmetic dentist who can evaluate your oral health and advise on the most beneficial option. In-chair teeth whitening procedures commonly entail having a bleaching agent applied to the surface of the teeth, which is activated by a UV light.
Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic procedure as they don’t just disguise discolouration, they can conceal any dental imperfections from shape to position. This treatment involves having customised shells, made of porcelain or composite resin, fitted over the front surface of teeth.
If you only need one or two veneers fitting, they will replicate the appearance of your natural teeth and blend in with the rest of your smile. Alternatively, you could get a full set of veneers for a full smile makeover.
There are several factors to consider when choosing between porcelain and composite veneers. While porcelain veneers are more resistant to stains, they can’t be easily repaired by dentists, unlike composite veneers. Porcelain veneers also involve removing some of the tooth surface, which is irreversible, whereas composite veneers bond directly to teeth and don’t require destructing the tooth.
This procedure is one of the more expensive options, but with proper care, veneers can last for 15 to 20 years and eliminate the costs of teeth whitening, making it a worthy investment.
A crown is a type of cap that covers the entire surface of a tooth. Not only does this dental procedure cover discolouration, but it can also strengthen decayed teeth. The aesthetic of porcelain crowns is often very realistic and natural.
This treatment involves creating a mould of your tooth to provide a temporary crown. In a later procedure, the dental will replace the temporary crown with a permanent version. However, it isn’t uncommon for crowns to fall out, caused by an ill-fitting crown, the natural tooth being too small, or eating chewy foods.
Dental discolouration is sometimes caused by an untreated dead tooth, which is when the tooth’s nerve dies, and blood no longer flows to it. The tooth may appear yellow, grey, or black, but, unfortunately, it’s not possible to whiten a dead tooth. Dentists may recommend a root canal treatment to clear any infection. If this isn’t possible, the tooth will need removing.
Implants are the most permanent tooth replacement option as they can last a lifetime if cared for properly. This procedure involves having titanium screws placed into your jawbone to replicate the missing tooth’s root. In a second procedure, the dental professional will attach a false tooth to the screws.
There are plenty of ways to treat discoloured and stained teeth, so you don’t have to suffer in silence and stop smiling. Ensure you get advice from a dental professional on which treatment is most suitable, beneficial, and safest for your oral health condition.