Discoloration of the teeth is one of the most common reasons people seek out cosmetic dentistry. In many cases, teeth whitening is sufficient to brighten a discolored smile. However, sometimes teeth whitening is not enough, or the type of staining is not responsive to whitening treatment. In these cases cosmetic veneers are an excellent option that can restore your smile to its former brightness.
Treating Discolored Teeth When Whitening Doesn’t Work
Teeth whitening is the most popular and easiest treatment for stained or discolored teeth. However, there are different causes for stained teeth, and some of these do not respond well to standard teeth whitening treatment. The most common form of staining is extrinsic staining, which affects the outside surfaces of the teeth. Intrinsic staining, by contrast, affects the inner portion of the tooth, including the dentin and enamel. It often creates white spots or dark bands on the teeth as opposed to an overall yellowish or brownish cast. This type of staining does not respond well to whitening treatment.
Common causes of intrinsic staining include:
- Exposure to excess amounts of fluoride well teeth are developing
- Exposure to antibiotics while teeth are developing
- Damage to the tooth pulp
In some cases, even surface stains do not respond well to whitening treatment. This usually occurs when stains are severe and have developed over a long period of time. In cases of intrinsic staining or very severe extrinsic staining, the best way to restore your bright smile is with cosmetic veneers.
How Veneers Work
A cosmetic veneer is very thin and is affixed directly to the surface of the tooth. Usually a small amount of enamel must be removed to make room, but some veneers are so thin that this is not necessary. A strong adhesive is used to permanently attach them to the tooth. Although the veneers, which are made of porcelain, are fragile, once they have bonded to the tooth enamel, they are very strong and durable.
Contact us at Daniel C. Bush, DDS today!