What if Teeth Stains Don’t Respond to Whitening?

teeth stains that don't bleach

Tooth stains that don’t bleach

Do you have tooth stains that don’t bleach? With today’s advanced cosmetic dentistry treatments, most smile concerns can be improved effectively and efficiently. For instance, if your teeth are stained, then you may be able to brighten them with professional teeth whitening. However, if your teeth are more stubbornly stained than usual, then you may need a more involved cosmetic enhancement to improve their appearance. We provide a variety of other customized cosmetic dentistry procedures designed to brighten your smile without significant dental work, including lifelike tooth bonding and realistic porcelain veneers. We actually start with learning about the toothbrush, how to properly use it, and how to floss.

Common Types of Dental Stains

Before we talk about treating dental discoloration, let’s explore the two most common types of stains.

Extrinsic Stains

Common teeth stains develop on the surface of your teeth (known as extrinsic staining). They can often be caused by exposure to food and beverages, or by things like tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Things like red wine, coffee, tea, berries, and other dark-colored foods can exacerbate the condition. Because extrinsic stains form on your tooth enamel, they can typically be erased with teeth-whitening treatment, which breaks up and removes the molecules and deposits that cause staining.

Dr. Fondriest offers dentist-supervised at-home whitening at our Chicago practice. This treatment can effectively brighten your smile and is much safer than over-the-counter bleaching products. Some store-bought brands can be too harsh and abrasive for the enamel.

Many cosmetic dentists offer in-office teeth whitening. Many patients want to know why Dr. Fondriest doesn’t. In-office bleaching, which brightens teeth in as little as 45 minutes, actually works by dehydrating the teeth. The results are short-lived, and bleaching trays must be used to fully eliminate staining. Furthermore, in-office whitening can actually irritate the gum tissue and the tooth pulp. For these reasons, he only offers at-home whitening with Nite White Excel 3 from Discus Dental. Read more about Dr. Fondriest’s advice on teeth whitening here.

If you must purchase over-the-counter whitening products, be sure you choose one that has the American Dental Association Seal of Approval. This indicates that the product has been tested to the highest standards and has been deemed safe and effective for use.

Intrinsic Stains

Sometimes, however, teeth stains can develop on a tooth’s dentin, underneath the semi-translucent enamel. Known as intrinsic staining, this type of discoloration won’t respond to teeth whitening, which only address surface teeth stains. This type of discoloration can be caused by a number of factors including some medications – like tetracycline and certain antihistamines, antidepressants, and hypertension drugs. Trauma can also cause bleeding to occur inside the tooth. As a result, the tooth becomes permanently darkened. Unfortunately, intrinsic stains do not respond to teeth whitening and must be addressed with other cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments for Stubborn Tooth Stains

When teeth-whitening can’t brighten your smile, Dr. Fondriest may recommend a more appropriate option. In the sections below, we’ll explore some of the most common cosmetic dentistry treatments for discoloration.

Cosmetic Bonding

Cosmetic tooth bonding involves placing and polishing custom-tinted, tooth-colored composite resin on the stained tooth. Tooth bonding can restore the uniformity of your smile without any permanent change to your tooth structure.

To perform this treatment, Dr. Fondriest applies composite resin to the affected teeth. He then shapes and molds the material to conceal the discoloration. Next, he uses a special curing light to harden the material. Carefully adding layers until the desired result is achieved, he finally polishes the tooth to a natural-looking shine.

Dental bonding usually lasts about five to seven years on average. Unlike other cosmetic dentistry treatments, bonding can be totally reversed if necessary. It’s an excellent way to brighten your smile without more invasive procedures. Keep in mind, however, composite resin can stain. Therefore, those who choose this option should consume dark-colored foods in moderation.

Porcelain Veneers

For more severe cases of discoloration, your dentist might recommend porcelain veneers, which can be placed on the front surfaces of one or more teeth to provide an instant smile makeover. While dental bonding involves applying liquid composite, veneers are actually thin (but strong) custom-made ceramic shells. They must be fabricated in a dental lab according to your unique oral anatomy. Even the shading of the porcelain can be customized precisely to match the surrounding teeth.

Before the lab can make the veneers, the teeth must be prepared and impressions must be taken. To do this, Dr. Fondriest removes small amounts of enamel from the teeth surfaces. This improves the bonding area and makes room for the restorations. Next, the impressions are taken and the images are sent to a trained dental technician. Once he or she has finished your veneers, they are shipped to our office for placement. Dr. Fondriest will assess the size, shape, and color of your veneers before bonding them permanently into place.

Porcelain Crowns

If discoloration is accompanied by weak tooth structure, Dr. Fondriest may recommend a porcelain crown. This type of restoration is used to rebuild a tooth damaged by a fracture or decay. Our all-porcelain crowns can be customized to blend in with your smile for a seamless look. Advanced dental materials even mimic the translucency of natural enamel, so today’s restorations are virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth.

Combining Whitening with Bonding, Crowns, and Veneers

Some patients may have a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic staining. Whenever you’re combining whitening with custom restorations, it’s important to whiten first. After your teeth have been lightened to the desired shade, we can make custom restorations to match your new smile.

During a cosmetic dentistry consultation at our Chicago practice, Dr. Fondriest can help you determine a treatment plan that will effectively meet your goals and expectations.

Learn more about tooth stains that don’t bleach and what to do

One new motivator to improve your smile is a new published study that connects smiling to professional success. Teeth-whitening can erase most common teeth stains, but certain types of stains won’t respond to the procedure. To find out how to effectively erase them, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Chicago, IL, at 847-234-0517. We serve residents of the Chicago metropolitan area as well as families and individuals in the North Shore and Northwest suburbs.