Often, people with stained or discolored teeth may just need a whitening procedure in order to restore their smile.
People with stained or dull teeth usually benefit from whitening, which is a safe and effective way to brighten stained, discolored or dull teeth. Even a stubborn single tooth that is noticeably duller or less white than your other teeth can be individually brightened.
Teeth bleaching products, which contain peroxides, actually change your natural tooth color anywhere from five to seven -- but even up to twelve -- shades brighter.
One process known as chairside bleaching involves applying either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the soft tissues in the mouth. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light is used to enhance the chemical action.
If your teeth aren't very dark or very stained, you may need only one bleaching session. Tooth bleaching safely lightens the color of your teeth, and can last up to a year before a touch-up is needed.
In general, bleaching works for most people. Tooth bleaching is most effective if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to lightening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline can be lightened, but with less-than-satisfactory results.
If you're interested in brightening your smile, have your teeth evaluated by us. Not everyone is a good candidate for bleaching. In some cases of serious discoloration and pitted teeth, for example, veneers may be more appropriate than bleaching. Moreoever, crowns, bridges, and fillings do not bleach, so it may be necessary to replace dental work to make it blend with the new color of your bleached teeth. An X-ray of your teeth may be the only accurate way of making a true assessment.