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Correcting Dental Discoloration

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There are multiple factors that contribute to a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. The symmetry and color of the teeth play important roles in the overall look of a smile. Nevertheless, even if a person does not have perfect oral attributes naturally, they can still achieve the smile that they desire through cosmetic dentistry.

Here are two types of dental discoloration and a few cosmetic dental applications that may be used to correct the color of the teeth.

Food or Beverage-based Discoloration

The teeth may become increasingly yellow over time as pigments and colorants from foods and drinks are deposited into the pores of the enamel. Once these pigments accumulate sufficiently, the teeth become discolored. 

Dental bleaching products are often used to remove stains that come from foods or beverages. The bleaching agents in the products are peroxide-based and considered safe for the teeth when used as directed.

Bleaching products, such as teeth-whitening kits, are available for purchase over-the-counter. Additionally, your dentist may offer in-office teeth-whitening services. 

The whitening kits available at local stores usually include the bleaching product as a foam, gel, or liquid. The kits include detailed instructions, along with an applicator. 

In-office whitening is often preferred because the bleaching product is administered by a dental professional. The process usually involves protecting the gums and other soft tissues, applying the dental whitener to the teeth, and using an ultraviolet light to increase the effectiveness of the product. Professional whitening applications frequently produce visible improvements in the color of the teeth after a single treatment.

Permanent Discoloration

If the dental discoloration is not food or drink-based, the teeth can still be whitened. However, chemical whiteners may be ineffective. If the dental discoloration is permanent due to a birth defect or oral trauma, dental veneers or crowns are more suitable to whiten the teeth.

Veneers and crowns cover the discolored teeth, presenting only the white porcelain of the dental devices. A veneer covers the front portions of a tooth. A crown covers the entire tooth body that is not already concealed by the gums.

Before a veneer or crown is fabricated, the color of the device is selected. Additionally, a dental impression of the patient's mouth is produced to act as a guide for the design of the veneer or crown. Since veneers and crowns are considered permanent, the improvement to the color of the smile should be long lasting.

For more information about improving the look of your smile, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area.