5 Ways to Correct Tooth Discoloration

No matter how straight and healthy your teeth are, surface discolorations can detract from your overall smile. Even one badly stained tooth can stand out so significantly that it prevents you from wanting to smile in front of anyone at all.

Fortunately, there are several different choices you have to combat mild to chronic tooth staining. Depending on the extent of your enamel discoloration, you may want to choose from one of these five popular treatments:

Teeth Bleaching

Professional teeth whitening products are the most effective systems for bleaching away tooth stain. Compared to over-the-counter kits, a professional system will work quicker and stronger, especially when it comes to natural tooth discoloration.

Bleaching works for certain types of tooth discoloration, but not all of them. But in most cases, it’s one of the first steps to take before moving on to something like veneers or bonding.

Professional dental bleaching is usually a take-home set of whitening trays or a single in-house (same day) procedure.

ICON DMT White Spot Treatment 

Dr. Desiree Yazdan highly recommends ICON DMG white spot treatment. ICON DMG is a unique product that allows us to target chronic and uneven coloration.

White spots on teeth are a unique cosmetic challenge. Usually, they don’t respond to whitening products the same way as the rest of your tooth enamel. In fact, they might become even whiter. But with ICON DMG, the white lesion itself is targeted. The tooth-colored composite infiltrates the porous enamel so that your lesion takes on the same shade as the enamel around it. The procedure only takes one appointment to complete. 

Icon Resin Infiltration Orange CountyCosmetic Bonding

When discoloration is paired with a surface flaw — such as pitted enamel or gum recession — cosmetic bonding may be a great solution. Bonding uses tooth-colored composite to rebuild and cover the atypical area. Dr. Yazdan might recommend it for an exposed root, enamel defect, or similar cosmetic issue. Bonding is also great for filling in chips or gaps between teeth.

Pitted tooth enamel looks like a dark spot on your tooth, but it also means there’s an abnormality in the outer layer of enamel. By covering the flaw with composite, you’re essentially protecting and repairing your tooth the same as getting a small, white filling.

A cosmetic bonding treatment only takes one appointment. You might not even need the area to be numb, as bonding is a non-invasive procedure. The tooth is slightly roughened, and a bonding agent applied, then the composite shaped to your tooth so that it blends in smoothly with the surface. 

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are preferred when the entire front surface of a tooth poses an aesthetic concern. For instance, if your tooth is misshaped or has severe internal staining.

Someone with chronic tetracycline stain (a bluish discoloration caused by a specific antibiotic during tooth development) may prefer to get porcelain veneers. Since the entire color of the tooth is atypical, bleaching it out may not be as effective as whitening a “normal” tooth. When whitening doesn’t provide the results you’re looking for, Dr. Yazdan may suggest veneers if the staining and discoloration are severe, based on her experience with similar cases that’s she’s completed in the past.

If you’re considering porcelain veneers, we’ll arrange for a planning appointment where we take a series of photos and discuss what’s possible. Once you’re ready to start treatment, we’ll book two separate appointments about two weeks apart for prep and placement, respectively.

Full Crowns

A crown or “cap” is a full coverage restoration that places a new layer of protection over the entire tooth. Usually, crowns are recommended if a tooth has serious structural damage. For example: large cavities, aggressive wear, or a previous root canal procedure.

However, there are always exceptions to the rule! Crowns may be recommended for teeth with advanced discoloration that’s paired with an atypical or weak enamel structure. A common example is severe enamel hypoplasia, which is aggressive pitting across the entire surface of the tooth. Instead of trying to patch it over with bonding or only cover the front with a veneer, placing a crown over your tooth protects the overall structure.

Crowns take two appointments to complete, similar to porcelain veneers. The prep appointment does require some local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. Your final restorations can be customized for optimal aesthetics, similar to veneers.

Get a Professional Opinion

The Center For Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry in Newport Beach, CA provides a wide range of aesthetic dental services. Dr. Desiree Yazdan will meet with you personally to determine what the best option is for your unique situation. We only recommend treatments that we would for our own smiles, so you can rest assured knowing you’re getting the best care possible.

For white spot and tooth discoloration treatment in Newport Beach, call us today!

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