Cosmetic dental services can help improve the color of your teeth. Teeth start white, but they pick up stains as a person's life goes on. Some of these stains come from the coloring agents in the foods and beverages that we consume, while habits like using tobacco products cause others.
Teeth can also become discolored as people age, due to their enamel (the outer layer of teeth) becoming thinner. This makes the yellow dentin (first inner layer of a tooth) more visible, making teeth appear yellow. Fortunately, cosmetic dental services can help get rid of any stains and discoloration on your teeth.
Correcting the color of your teeth with cosmetic dental services
Let us take a look at the cosmetic dental treatments that can be used to improve the color of the teeth.
1. Teeth whitening
Teeth whitening treatments effectively eliminate the most common stains that form on teeth, like those caused by foods/beverages, smoking, and aging. These treatments involve using products that contain concentrated quantities of bleaching compounds, like hydrogen peroxide.
The whitening products that dentists use for in-office whitening treatments are significantly more concentrated than those sold over the counter. These powerful bleaching products are made to be used under professional supervision.
In-office whitening treatments typically involve using a custom mouth tray to immerse the patient’s teeth in the bleaching product. The tray also keeps the concentrated product away from the patient’s gums. A whitening treatment can last up to 90 minutes, and the patient’s teeth should be noticeably whiter afterward.
2. Composite bonding
Composite bonding is typically recommended when patients have stains that cannot be removed with teeth whitening treatments. A dentist can use composite made from glass and plastic mixtures to cover up stains and discoloration.
It is a non-invasive procedure, and permanent alterations are not made to the patient’s teeth. The procedure includes roughening the patient’s enamel with an etching solution and applying the composite in layers until the stains are covered up. The dentist hardens the composite with a blue light and polishes the tooth to complete the treatment.
These tooth-shaped restorations are used to cover up flaws on the front parts of teeth, like stains. They can be used to cover up stains that are not responsive to whitening treatments, like those caused by tetracycline antibiotics, tooth decay, and fluorosis.
Placing a veneer on a tooth requires the dentist to remove enamel from the tooth’s front. This creates space for the veneer so it does not make the patient’s tooth appear bulky. The process of getting veneers typically involves two trips to the clinic.
During the first visit, the patient’s tooth is prepared for the restoration, an impression is taken, and the tooth is covered with a temporary veneer. The impression is used to make the patient’s custom veneer. The temporary veneer is switched with the customized one once it is ready.
Whiten your teeth
Our dentist can help get rid of the stains and discoloration on your teeth. Call or visit our Santa Barbara clinic to set up an appointment.
Request an appointment or call Julie A. Hemingway, D.D.S. at 805-409-2358 for an appointment in our Santa Barbara office.
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