This is one of the most frequently asked questions in dental offices. The factors that can alter the color of our teeth are divided into Extrinsic and Intrinsic.
Intrinsic factors are those that intervene during the tooth formation phase, before it erupts in the mouth. The stains or colorations that occur in this phase may be due to the use of certain antibiotics such as tetracycline, high systemic levels of fluoride or low mineralization of tooth enamel.
The natural aging of the tooth, once it has erupted, is also within this group of factors. The older the person, the teeth become more yellow or dull; usually from the age of 40.
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Extrinsic factors are those derived from the intake of food, beverages or other pigmenting agents. Tea, coffee, tobacco, red wine, colas consumed in excess, chlorhexidine (a bactericidal chemical used in mouthwash), all of these can stain or darken our teeth.
Treatments for teeth whitening
To solve the problem of dental darkening, we have four types of treatment depending on the patient’s demands:
- Chemical teeth whitening: It is the treatment with the lowest economic cost. Currently, there are countless whitening products and treatments on the market whose effectiveness, in the vast majority of cases, leaves a lot to be desired. In our center, after having tested a large number of these whitening systems, we concluded that the most effective is the one we use today. It is no coincidence that in the USA it is the most widely used and best valued whitening system by dentists. The great peculiarity of this whitening system lies in the fact that in a single session of one hour it is possible to obtain lightening of up to 8 tones with hardly any post-treatment sensitivity. In cases of severe discoloration, it may be necessary to perform a new session two weeks later.
- Ultra-fine porcelain veneers (Dr. Conde Technique):This treatment consists of the adhesion of thin porcelain sheets (0.3mm) on the front surface of the anterior teeth, both upper and lower. It is an exclusive treatment with very little or no aggression to the tooth, being the patient himself who decides what shade of white he wants for his teeth. This type of treatment guarantees color stability over the years and allows the tooth to return to its original shape and size, closing spaces between them without having to resort to long-term corrective treatments (orthodontics). On the basis that the dental structure never regenerates, Minimally Invasive Aesthetic Dentistry plays a very important role when performing this type of treatment in order to preserve the structural integrity of the teeth as much as possible.In just 2 sessions the changes in the smile are truly spectacular.
- Veneers or resin laminates (Composite): Resin veneers represent a cheaper alternative to porcelain veneers. They allow the teeth to return to their original shape and size, also modifying their color. They require a great knowledge of the material that is going to be used and a great manual dexterity on the part of the specialist who is going to perform them. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers can see their color altered over time and suffer slight wear as a result of tooth brushing. It is the treatment of choice in patients with bruxist habits (teeth grinding) since in cases of possible fracture or wear of the material it can be repaired instantly in the clinic.
- Snap-on-smile: It is the first and only non-invasive and completely reversible treatment that allows to replace missing teeth, close spaces between them and improve the appearance of the smile by masking dental malpositions. Being manufactured in the USA, the installation time ranges between 4 and 6 weeks.