Hi, I’m Dr Judith, and I’m one of the principal dentists here at Elevate Dental. I was talking with one of our patients, Samantha from Collingwood, a couple of weeks ago who was concerned about some dark band staining on her teeth. She had tried professional whitening in the past but found that they didn’t really affect some stains she could see in her teeth. Now, this is a common question we get so I thought I’d make a video to share with you what I shared with her.
Professional Whitening and Limitations
Professional teeth whitening, in general, is really, really good at removing surface stains, such as those from tea, coffee, food, wine, and smoking. However, when stains in teeth come from within the tooth itself, such as weakened enamel because of childhood medications or a physical flaw in the enamel, whitening with professional whitening stops being effective. This is when we start considering other options to mask the stains.
Alternative Options for Stain Treatment
Depending on how large the stain is and how many teeth have the staining, there are a few options:
- Using a white filling material in the stained areas only. So if you don’t have very many stains and it’s located on just a few teeth, and they’re not very, very large, then using white filling material just to mask and cover that can work really, really well and we can blend it in so it matches your natural tooth colour. Now keep in mind, once that filling is done, it won’t change colour with future whitening, so what many patients do is to whiten their existing teeth and then have fillings placed over the stained areas afterwards.
- Use composite bonding or a composite veneer. So what this is? It’s a white filling material that covers the entire surface of the tooth. This is really great for areas where there is a lot more diffused staining that’s spread between several teeth or one or two teeth where the staining covers a majority of the surface of the tooth. It gives you the benefit of covering the whole tooth and matching it to the rest of your teeth. Something to keep in mind with composite bonding is that they do stain over time. If this happens, there is always the option to replace them.
- Consider porcelain veneers in Melbourne. This is a great option if you’re looking for something that doesn’t stain, something that can be created to look exactly the same as a natural tooth and is strong enough to last a very long time. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are placed onto your teeth. This is a great option if you want to change the size and shape of your teeth in addition to covering up stains.
Choosing the Best Option
The best option for each person really will depend on how much staining there is, how large the staining is, and also whether there are other things you may want to change such as the size and the shape and overall colour of the teeth. I hope you found this video helpful.
If you do have some stubborn stains on your teeth that you want to get rid of, we would love to look after you. We are conveniently located at both Hawthorn and Richmond with onsite parking.