In many instances, when your teeth are stained, you may be able to brighten them with professional whitening treatment or even an over-the-counter variety. However, some stains may not be able to be removed by a whitening treatment of any kind. In those cases, you may need a more involved cosmetic treatment to improve your smile’s appearance. Your dentist can provide a variety of other cosmetic treatments designed to brighten your smile, including lifelike cosmetic bonding and realistic porcelain veneers.

Different Kinds of Discoloration

Common tooth stains develop on the surface of your teeth; this type is known as extrinsic discoloration. These are often caused by exposure to dark-pigmented food and beverages, tobacco use and alcohol consumption, aging, or poor oral hygiene. Because these stains form on your tooth enamel, they can typically be erased with a whitening treatment. Whitening breaks up and removes the molecules and deposits that cause discoloration. However, discoloration can develop on a tooth’s dentin, which is underneath your semi-translucent enamel. Known as intrinsic discoloration, this type of staining cannot respond to teeth-whitening because whitening can only address the surface of the teeth. Intrinsic stains can be caused by certain medication, health problems, or tooth trauma.

Addressing Intrinsic Discoloration

When whitening cannot brighten your smile, your dentist may recommend another option to reach your smile goals. Cosmetic tooth bonding involves applying tooth-colored composite resin onto the stained tooth. The material is the same as used in tooth-colored fillings, so it can mimic both the appearance and function of your tooth’s enamel. The resin will be sculpted, hardened, and polished into a natural appearance. Tooth bonding can restore the appearance of your smile without any permanent change to your tooth structure. If you have multiple teeth or a whole smile to update, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers, which can be placed on the front surfaces of teeth to provide an smile makeover.

Has teeth whitening failed for you?

Stubborn staining may be a sign of a deeper issue. To schedule a consultation, with Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates in Mansfield, TX, call 817-473-6227. We proudly welcome patients from Mansfield, TX and the surrounding areas, including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.