Ask The Dentist – Heavily Stained Teeth
A determined ex smoker wants to improve the appearance of his teeth.
At Blue Sky Dental, we are very pleased to see an increasing number of patients who have stopped smoking.
Sometimes, this leads to them looking at ways to rectify some of the damage caused to their teeth and today’s question is typical of those that we hear.
Q. After thirty years of being a fairly heavy smoker, I now feel confident that I have finally quit. I am aware that I could lapse but am determined that I won’t. Partially to encourage me to stay an ex smoker, and partly to improve my self esteem, I would like to do something about my horribly stained teeth which are very dark indeed. Are there any treatments available that can do this?
Thank you for contacting us and we are always delighted to be able to help our Chelmsford patients who have managed to stop smoking. I suspect that you may be enquiring about a teeth whitening procedure, and whether that would be suitable for you? We would need to inspect your teeth before giving a definitive answer, but I would suggest, from the description of your teeth, that this may only provide partial satisfaction due to the severity of the staining which you allude to.
All is not lost though and there is one cosmetic dental procedure that would certainly do the job that you ask, and that is the fitting of dental veneers. Before we go onto to that though, it is important to note that smoking may have increased the chances of other oral problems such as gum disease and consequently we need to ensure that you are dentally fit first, before undertaking any cosmetic procedures.
Once we are sure that your oral health is on track, we would be able to fit dental veneers should you need them. These are sometimes described as ‘false fingernails for teeth’, which is a useful thought, albeit rather a simplistic way of looking at them.
Veneers are actually very fine tooth shaped layers of porcelain which, unlike false fingernails, are not simply attached to the front of the teeth, but are in fact used to replace the front layer of the tooth. To allow this, a fine layer of your natural teeth will be removed and impressions taken of these. They will then be sent to a dental laboratory where the veneers will be made.
As this process can take a week or more, temporary veneers will be fitted in the meantime to protect your teeth and reduce sensitivity. Once the new veneers have been returned to our practice, you will be recalled, the temporary veneers removed and the new ones attached using a strong dental adhesive. Finally, they will be polished and shaped to make them feel and look natural.
Porcelain veneers, once fitted offer a great way to restore your badly stained teeth and should last for around ten years. It is important that you continue to brush and floss well though as the natural portion of your teeth can still decay, and gum disease can occur if good oral health is not maintained. In the very unlikely event that a veneer becomes detached, please do not attempt to re-attach it yourself. Simply arrange an appointment where we can do this professionally.
To arrange to see our Chelmsford cosmetic dentist to discuss this procedure, please call Blue Sky Dental on 01245 211070.