Few would argue that the crowning glory to a perfect tan is a gloriously white smile. Regardless of your body shape and skin tone, people tend to notice a smile. Studies tell us that next to the eyes, a smile is the first feature most folks notice about a person.
Over the years, exposure to staining foods and beverages, tobacco, and tetracycline medications can cause tooth discoloration. External stains are soaked up into the pores of tooth enamel, while intrinsic staining comes from inside. Both intrinsic and extrinsic stains can be addressed with professional teeth whitening. Chicago cosmetic dentist Dr. James Fondriest of Lake Forest Dental Arts offers safe, gentle chemical whitening for extrinsic stains — and bonding, crowns, and veneers to address intrinsic stains.
For external stains that have soaked into a tooth’s enamel, chemical bleaching (or whitening) is a viable solution. Dr. Fondriest prescribes a home whitening kit that penetrates tooth enamel and lifts even the most stubborn extrinsic stains. NiteWhite Excel 3 comes with a custom-fitted mouth tray and professional-grade bleaching gel that you can only purchase through a dentist. Use the kit as instructed, and in approximately two weeks, your smile will sparkle. Retain the custom mouth trays and re-order gel as necessary so that you can re-whiten your smile whenever necessary.
Intrinsic stains include fluorosis, caused by swallowing fluoride during childhood; tetracycline stains, caused by taking certain antibiotics; and natural discoloration. Because intrinsic tooth stains are inside a tooth, bleaching from the outside won’t help. A thorough examination will help Dr. Fondriest determine the best restoration for your situation. He might suggest bonding, which provides a thin layer of enamel-like material on the front surface of a tooth. In some cases, porcelain crowns are the best option. Still, some people are best served by porcelain veneers, which are durable, custom-made shells that permanently fit over the front of teeth.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Fondriest, contact our Chicago cosmetic dentist office at (847) 234-0517. We serve patients from North Shore, Winnetka, Lake Forest, Arlington Heights, Glenview, and the neighboring Chicago communities.