White Spots vs. Dark Spots on Teeth
Do you have uneven color across your smile? Dark spots or white spots can detract from the natural hue of your healthy, attractive tooth enamel. But white and dark spots aren’t the same, and they shouldn’t be treated identically either.
What Causes Dark Spots on Teeth?
Dark spots on teeth can be caused by various sources, all of which are different from white spots on teeth.
One example is external or superficial (extrinsic) stain, is the stain particles that attach to our teeth coming from the foods and drinks we consume. Things like tea, coffee, soda, and red wine are some of the top offenders. When exposed for a prolonged time (years or decades,) those stains can also seep deeper into the tooth, making them more difficult to remove.
Other types of dark spots may be the result of too much or too little enamel mineralization during tooth development. If you live in an area on well water, where mineral levels are not regulated, this can alter tooth formation during the infant and toddler years of oral development.
Similarly, fevers or taking certain antibiotic medications can alter tooth development, depending on what age they occur. The results can range from mild to more severe, with dark staining occurring in specific or several teeth.
Tartar buildup can also cause dark areas on your teeth; fortunately, these deposits can be removed during professional dental cleanings.
How to Remove Dark Spots on Teeth
Depending on the size, severity, and location of dark spots on teeth, treatments can range from bleaching to bonding to dental veneers. It may be that Dr. Yazdan can simply remove the irregular enamel and fill that location in with a tooth-colored restorative material. But if the area is dark because of poorly developed enamel or weakening in the tooth, a protective dental crown or veneer may need to be placed over the tooth.
Superficial dark spots on teeth can usually be polished off during your dental cleaning. This process takes only a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the type of stain it is. Many of our clients also choose to go back and bleach their teeth after their cleaning to brighten that area and those around it. Professional cleanings are ideal before bleaching treatments to help the whitening product better target the entire visible surface of every tooth.
A professional teeth whitening treatment will usually offer the best results for removing deep, dark staining across teeth. If an intensive whitening treatment is not adequate, covering the tooth with a cosmetic restoration may offer the best outcome.
Reason for White Spots on Teeth
White spots on teeth are usually due to a demineralization or weakening process that occurs inside of the tooth enamel. It may be that minerals have leached out due to prolonged exposure to dental plaque or because of things like traumatic injuries, nutritional deficiencies, or genetic concerns while the tooth was developing. As a result, that portion of the tooth is brighter than the others simply because of a lack of proper mineralization.
Dr. Yazdan frequently sees white spots on teeth around previous orthodontic appliance locations or along the edges of the gum tissues. These locations tend to have heavier areas of plaque that may not always be removed thoroughly, leaving white discoloration that’s visible once the braces are removed or the tooth erupts a bit further.
White Spot Treatment for Tooth Enamel
Treating white spots on teeth is especially challenging without the right equipment and technique. For instance, trying to whiten teeth with white spots usually makes those areas more prominent. Over the years, Dr. Yazdan has perfected her treatment options for white spot removal. Our choice method is ICON DMG, which is a revolutionary resin infiltration process to quickly, safely, and holistically erase white spots from teeth.
ICON DMG allows us to infiltrate a transparent resin material into the dehydrated, porous areas that make up white spots in teeth. Once complete, the surrounding tooth color is reflected through the clear resin material, making the tooth look more consistent in color overall.
Best of all, ICON treatments provide immediate results. If you’ve tried previous types of white spot removal without the improvement you hoped for, ICON is likely the answer you’ve been searching for.
Cosmetic Dentist in Newport Beach
Dr. Desiree Yazdan is one of Newport Beach’s premier cosmetic dentists, offering comprehensive aesthetic treatments for smiles of all shapes and sizes. The Center For Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry can transform your smile into your most loved accessory.
Whether you need teeth whitening, ICON treatment, or a full set of porcelain veneers, we can easily guide you through the process so that your teeth look and feel their very best.
Call us today to reserve your first appointment.
About Dr. Yazdan
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