What Are Your Options if Teeth-Whitening Doesn’t Work?

Teeth-whitening, or teeth-bleaching, is a simple and non-invasive procedure your dentist can perform to whiten and brighten your teeth by several shades. While it’s a procedure that does work for most people, in some cases tooth staining is resistant to typical whitening methods. In those cases, there are some alternative options that can produce great results.

For most people with aesthetic concerns about their teeth, whitening is the number one thing they want to change. Tooth discoloration can be caused by a number of different factors, including medication use, stains from tobacco use or heavy tea or coffee drinking, and excessive fluoride exposure during tooth development, as well as normal wear outer layers of the teeth.

In most cases, teeth can be whitened successfully with a kit that uses a bleaching solution applied twice a day for 30 minutes. Your dentist calculates the strength of the bleaching solution by taking into account the current color of your teeth as compared to the desired level of whiteness. It’s a much more accurate way of getting a suitable shade than ready-made non-dentist kits, and produces more natural results.

When Teeth Aren’t Susceptible to Whitening

Sometimes teeth can’t be bleached to the desired shade of whiteness. In some cases it’s because the teeth are so heavily stained that normal whitening can’t achieve the desired results. Sometimes it’s because the teeth are naturally more translucent than normal, and this quality means that the interior color of the tooth shows through.

Composite Placement

When the teeth fail to whiten because of translucence, they can be made to appear whiter by applying a light-colored composite (the same as that which is used for fillings) on the rear side of the teeth. This provides the teeth with a greater degree of opacity and makes them appear whiter.

Porcelain Veneers

If all else fails, porcelain veneers can give you the bright white smile you’re looking for, and provide some other benefits too. Veneers are ultra-thin slices of porcelain that are fitted over the surface of your natural teeth, to give you a gorgeous natural-looking smile. As well as giving you a great set of white teeth, veneers can also improve the shape, size, and alignment of your teeth, to make your smile look even better.

It is important to get a full evaluation from your dentist prior to any type of dental treatment (including over the counter whiteners). Oral health is best maintained when managed by a professional. Call James Mitchell, DDS for more information.