Teeth stains are common; in fact, they’re the most common smile complaint given the fact that they can occur even when you take excellent care of you r teeth. In most cases, teeth whitening can make stains a thing of the past and brighten your smile’s visage to restore its youthful glow. However, the effectiveness of teeth whitening depends on the nature of your teeth’s stains. For some patients, tooth discoloration isn’t just a surface issue, and may require more involved cosmetic treatment to correct.
Extrinsic (or external) teeth stains are those that occur on the surface of your teeth. Extrinsic stains can occur from excessive plaque and tartar buildup, years of exposure to colorful foods and beverages, habits like smoking and chewing tobacco, and more. Because these stains build up on your tooth’s enamel, they can typically be erased with chemical teeth whitening. The process uses safe but highly effective peroxide-based gel to break up stain deposits on tooth enamel and brighten the structure directly underneath it.
Intrinsic (or internal) teeth stains develop from within a tooth’s structure, and are noticeable because tooth enamel is semi-translucent. Since teeth whitening cannot reach and erase stains that are on your tooth’s dentin (the main structure), you may require a more effective cosmetic treatment, such as tooth bonding or porcelain veneers. If the stains are located on only a single tooth, then you might benefit from a lifelike dental crown placed over the tooth.