Tooth discolouration is perhaps one of the most common reasons people go for cosmetic dentistry. Notably, there are different causes for tooth discolouration, including diet, old age, lifestyle and genetics. Therefore, a cosmetic dentist must evaluate a case before determining appropriate treatment. That said, most people think teeth bleaching is the only solution for discoloured pearly whites, which is not the case. This article highlights alternative teeth whitening procedures.
Enamel Microabrasion — It is a relatively common cosmetic dental procedure for removing teeth stains. From its name, the procedure can seem a bit aggressive and dangerous to the teeth, but nothing could be further from the truth. Enamel microabrasion refers to the removal of teeth stains from the surface using a pumice machine. The procedure is gentle and safe since dentists avoid getting too close to the gums. Unlike tooth bleaching, which uses chemicals, enamel microabrasion is a mechanical procedure, and the results are instant. The dental cosmetic procedure is only suitable for surface (extrinsic) stains caused by dietary or lifestyle factors. A common but temporary issue with enamel microabrasion is tooth sensitivity. Fortunately, all you have to do is avoid cold/hot drinks and foods for a few days.
Tooth Scraping — Plaque and tart build-up on teeth attract bacteria, accelerating tooth decay and discolouration. However, most patients associate tooth scraping with the prevention of gum disease and fresh breath. They do not know that cosmetic dentists scrape away accumulated tart and plaque to brighten a patient's smile. The reason is that teeth are not as smooth as most people believe, making it easy for food particles to accumulate inside the micro-ridges. From afar, tartar and plaque might appear like stains, which is why cosmetic dentists examine teeth closely before choosing a treatment option. In this case, accumulated food particles can be scraped off with a tool to restore the enamel's natural colour. Afterward, a dentist smoothens the enamel to eliminate micro-ridges and prevent future tartar or plaque build-up.
Enameloplasty — Sometimes, tooth stains can appear on the chewing surface alone. In such cases, dentists prefer enameloplasty to eliminate discolouration. Enameloplasty removes tiny amounts of enamel and is commonly referred to as tooth recontouring. Notably, a dentist uses a burr or sanding disc to sand away discoloured sections during the procedure gently. Although enameloplasty is not a painful procedure, dentists are very careful not to rub away too much enamel since it would leave you with uneven teeth sizes. It is why the discolouration procedure is only suitable for stains that have not spread from the tip of a tooth.
For more information on cosmetic dentistry, contact a professional near you.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.