Intrinsic tooth discoloration is different from stains left behind by coffee or tea. At Dakota Prosthodontics and Implant Center, we want patients to understand what may be causing your tooth discoloration and the options to make your smile bright and white again.
Signs of Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration
Unlike extrinsic tooth discoloration, intrinsic tooth discoloration can be present in various shades. In some cases, teeth may be dark or yellow. In other cases, a tooth might be a brighter white than the other teeth. Additionally, teeth might not be uniformly a solid hue. An affected tooth might have a dark stripe or white spots.
Causes of This Type of Tooth Discoloration
There are several causes for intrinsic tooth discoloration. In some cases, tooth discoloration starts before birth. Certain antibiotics and medications can discolor the teeth of a developing child. It can appear in baby teeth and fall out as the child grows. But the adult tooth buds can also be affected. This will lead to adult teeth having spots, stripes, or dark coloration.
While fluoride can protect teeth from cavities, too much in early childhood can damage the adult tooth buds. Too much fluoride is also a common cause of intrinsic tooth discoloration. Finally, injury can also discolor a tooth. For example, trauma to the gums can leave a tooth dark, even black if the blood supply is damaged when the tooth is in the bud or after it has grown.
Because the problem is deep within the tooth, simple bleaching will not affect the color change caused by intrinsic tooth discoloration. However, treating this kind of tooth discoloration can be more involved.
One method of treatment is dental bonding. Your dentist will coat the affected tooth with a composite material set with ultraviolet light. This covers the affected area of the tooth, providing a brighter coverage. Dental veneers might be a better option if the entire tooth is discolored. During this treatment, the tooth’s surface layer is removed, and a thin chip is fastened to the front of the tooth.
The final option is to have a crown placed over the entire tooth. The dentist removes the outermost layers of the tooth and places a manufactured crown on the tooth’s root. This works well for teeth that may be visible on all sides or teeth that have had an extensive injury.
Regardless of the reason for your intrinsic tooth discoloration, at Dakota Prosthetics and Implant Center, we want to help you choose the proper method to restore your smile and make it white again. So, if your smile isn’t as white as you wish, call us, and we will discuss all your options.