No matter what type of professional teeth whitening system you choose, you can trust that it will reliably remove most types of tooth stains. However, there are certain types of tooth stains that cannot be removed via traditional whitening products. These include the severe brown or grey discolorations caused by some kinds of medications and the chalky white discolorations that characterize excessive fluoride exposure. When the stains come from within the tooth, you will need to discuss a non-chemical treatment option with your cosmetic dentist. Making the right decision regarding the beauty of your smile will be much easier when you learn the answers to these frequently asked questions about alternatives to teeth whitening.
Why Doesn’t Teeth Whitening Work for Some People?
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are the two most common active ingredients in professional and over-the-counter whitening products. This ingredient removes stains chemically by releasing oxygen into the surface of your tooth enamel. Oxygen molecules break down long-strand color molecules, making your enamel look brighter. Different enamel absorbs oxygen differently, so results will always differ from patient to patient. Additionally, oxygen won’t infiltrate the tooth farther than the enamel, so discolorations that come from inside the tooth won’t be affected.
What’s the Most Conservative Alternative to Teeth Whitening?
Cosmetic bonding, usually just called “bonding,” uses composite resin, the same material used to fill in cavities, is the most conservative teeth whitening alternative, because it does not require the removal of any tooth enamel. It’s also your most affordable option. This procedure involves your dentist applying thin layers of resin to the surface of the tooth, then using special tools to shape and polish the resin so it looks like healthy, natural tooth structure.
Are There Any Other Alternatives to Teeth Whitening?
Dental veneers rely on thin sleeves of dental porcelain to completely mask severe stains and other cosmetic flaws. Porcelain veneers are designed to keep your smile looking fabulous for ten years or more, but they have a significantly higher up front cost than teeth whitening methods. In addition, the veneer placement procedure requires the removal of a small amount of tooth enamel, which cannot be reversed down the line.