Often, people with stained or discolored teeth may just need a whitening procedure in order to restore their smile.
People with stained or dull teeth usually benefit from whitening, which is a safe and effective way to brighten stained, discolored or dull teeth. Even a stubborn single tooth that is noticeably duller or less white than your other teeth can be individually brighten.
Teeth bleaching products, which contain peroxides, may actually change your natural tooth color up to several shades lighter.
Home bleaching is done using thin custom fitted trays made from an impression of your upper and lower arches. A gel is placed in the trays and worn for a specified length of time during the day or at night during sleep depending on the product. The most common side effect is tooth sensitivity and often a prescription fluoride toothpaste is recommended before and/or during treatment.
A process known as chairside bleaching involves applying either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the soft tissues in the mouth. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light is used to enhance the chemical action.
If your teeth aren't very dark or very stained, you may need only one bleaching session. Tooth bleaching safely lightens the color of your teeth.
In general, bleaching works for most people. Tooth bleaching is most effective if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to lightening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline can be lightened, but with less-than-satisfactory results.
If you`re interested in brightening your smile, have your teeth evaluated. Not everyone is a good candidate for bleaching. In some cases of serious discoloration and pitted teeth, for example, veneers may be more appropriate than bleaching. Moreoever, crowns, bridges, and fillings do not bleach, so it may be necessary to replace dental work to make it blend with the new color of your bleached teeth.