Improving The Appearance Of Stained Teeth
Cosmetic teeth whitening options for our Chelmsford patients
There is little doubt that one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments that we provide is teeth whitening. There are many reasons for this which we will come to later, but one factor is that tooth discolouration is both common and often, also relatively straightforward to improve.
There are two types of tooth discolouration. That of surface staining, often caused by things that we eat or drink, such as red wine, and internal discolouration which is caused by the ageing process, darkening the dentin layer in our teeth which can then make our teeth appear a yellow colour.
Many of you will also have seen a growing number of advertisements both on TV and online, offering ways to whiten your teeth. Some of these, such as toothpastes, are likely to be of limited benefit whilst others often may not have the safeguards in place that you would get if you had a teeth whitening treatment at Blue Sky Dental.
We will start with this one as it is the type of staining that you are most likely to notice if you are relatively young. This type of staining is usually caused by our diet and lifestyle habits. Whilst red wine is well known for staining teeth, the reality is that all wine can do this. The reason for this is not just the colour of the wine but the acidity levels in them which can damage the enamel on our teeth in a way that creates a rough surface. This, in turn, makes it much easier for other staining items to find their way into the tiny pits and crevices on the surface of our teeth.
Other habits such as smoking are also likely to affect the appearance of our teeth. Not only is it extremely dangerous for your health, including the health of your mouth, but the tar may well leave your teeth looking a dark shade of yellow, and even, in some cases, brown.
Whilst we can, at least to some degree, control the risk of any staining to the surface of our teeth, the same can’t be said for internal staining. Unfortunately, this is just a fact of life as we grow older. As the dentin beneath the enamel darkens, it starts to show through the enamel and often makes our teeth appear dull. It should be noted that this is more likely to be noticeable if our enamel has worn away through neglect or poor diet, so making sure that you take care of your teeth well can at least delay this effect.
There is little that we can do to reverse this discolouration other than through treatment by one of the cosmetic dentists at Blue Sky Dental. Our experienced team will be able to determine the best approach to take during the initial consultation stage and, after examining your teeth, will discuss what you hope to achieve with your treatment.
There are 3 main treatment options that can help to give you a whiter and more attractive smile. The first is likely to have only a minor effect but is worth trying initially, especially where discolouration is relatively light. It is also an excellent way to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. We are, of course, talking about a scale and polish that is carried out by the dental hygienist. Although this isn’t technically a cosmetic treatment, the shattering of any tartar using a sonic tool followed by a high speed brushing can remove some surface staining and leave your teeth looking and feeling fresher and cleaner.
This method may only have a limited effect from a cosmetic point of view however and there are two main treatment options that are available to our Chelmsford patients.
Teeth whitening treatment
This is the most popular option for many reasons. Not only is it affordable for most people but it also requires no invasive dentistry. In fact, this is designed especially for you so that you can do it at home. This shouldn’t be mistaken for ‘similar’ systems that you might see advertised online. Those systems lack the personal supervision that we provide and may not produce the same effect, as well as having potential risks involved too.
Our treatment involves creating trays that are made following scans of your own teeth. This is done not only to make them as comfortable as possible but also to limit the risk of spillage of the whitening gel onto the gums as this could potentially cause irritation. You will be given full instructions on how to apply the gel and we are, of course, on hand if you have any questions during the treatment period.
The degree of whiteness that you want can be adjusted so that you are happy with the final result. Whilst some patients might just want a slight ‘lift’ in the whiteness, others might be hoping to have a ‘celebrity’ smile. To help those seeking the latter, the Enlighten system that we use also allows for a chairside ‘top up’ to give you great looking white teeth.
The teeth whitening technique mentioned above works for most patients but some staining can be more severe, or sometimes teeth have chips and cracks as well as discolouration. In this situation, teeth whitening might have a more limited effect and could even highlight other flaws in the teeth. This doesn’t mean that you have to put up with the appearance of your teeth though if yours fall into this category. Porcelain dental veneers are an effective way of restoring the appearance of teeth like these. Although it does sometimes require slightly more invasive treatment, the results can make a very big difference and the veneers should also last for ten years or more, providing that you care for them as instructed.
Veneers essentially replace the current surface of your teeth and can be produced in any shade that you wish. As they are not porous, they should also retain their whiteness although you should take care to brush them, not least for health reasons, anyway.
You don’t have to put up with a poor quality smile. Our cosmetic team here at Blue Sky Dental can help you to restore your smile with the range of treatments that we have available. If you would like to find out what we can do for you, please call us at our Chelmsford dental clinic on 01245 211070.