The number one cause of discoloured teeth is in the foods we consume. These include consumption of tea, coffee, red wine or tobacco. Unsatisfactory oral hygiene may also be a contributing factor, including several congenital medical conditions that have been known to affect the aesthetics of both baby and adult teeth.
Historically, most silver-coloured fillings (called amalgam) contain silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury, and have a highly unappealing colour. Over time, these fillings get old, stained, cracked, and break down. Our dentists replace these fillings with modern materials made of composite resin, that have a far more aesthetic look, are more conservative, and have superior quality for a more longer lasting effect.
There are several ways to improve the discolouration of teeth & fillings:
REGULAR PROFESSIONAL CLEANING
● Regular cleans from your dentist every 6 months to prevent buildup of plaque and tartar, as well as to remove any superficial stains present.
● Teeth whitening can lighten the shade of your teeth due to discolouration and staining over time. Stains can be a bit tricky to remove from whitening alone, and so a professional deep-clean may be recommended by your dentist, as well as minor, conservative improvements and masking with composite resin.
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● Composite veneers can be done to mask the underlying discolourations. The shape of the teeth can also be improved using composite veneers, especially if they are crowded, worn or gappy. This type of filling can be completed in a single appointment and usually lasts between 7-12 years before repairs or touch-ups are required.
● Porcelain veneers can be done to mask the underlying discolourations. Thin pieces of porcelain are bonded over your teeth in order to change the colour of a tooth or change its shape. Porcelain veneers are highly aesthetic, although in order to allow room for a porcelain veneer, your dentist has to remove a very small amount of tooth structure from the tooth. A technician then creates the porcelain layer which is bonded onto the tooth. Porcelain veneers can be completed over 2 appointments, and last approximately 10 years or more before they may need to be re-polished or replaced.
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● Crowns are restorations that may cover some or all surfaces of a damaged or unaesthetic tooth, and usually last between 10-20 years depending on how well the crown is maintained by the patient. Crowns are used instead of veneers in certain situations if the aesthetics of the tooth cannot be improved by veneers alone (i.e. if the tooth is too dark or too damaged). These restorations often have a greater longevity than other filling materials, and require two appointments.