While in most cases tooth whitening is a fast, easy way to brighten and beautify your smile, there are instances where whitening simply won’t work. One of those instances is when a patient’s teeth are discolored not because of regular staining, but because of severe enamel damage.
Tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of the tooth, protects the softer, more sensitive dentin underneath. When the enamel wears away, not only does protection against hot and cold wear away, so does the white appearance of the tooth. Because dentin is typically a pale yellow color, when it starts showing through the thinned enamel, the teeth appear as a discolored hue. We don’t recommend bleaching teeth that show signs of eroded enamel, and, in fact, because the enamel is worn down it makes more sense to both whiten and protect the teeth with the application of dental veneers or porcelain crowns.
Although tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body, it isn’t invincible. The effects from acidic foods and drinks, medications, and acid reflux, for example, can permanently damage tooth enamel. Unlike a broken bone that can be repaired by the body, enamel has no living cells, which means the body cannot naturally repair worn out, chipped or cracked enamel.
The attractiveness of enamel damaged teeth can typically be restored with the application of porcelain veneers — thin, toothcolored custom-made porcelain “shells” that fit over the front of your teeth. Veneers also provide the benefit of correcting the appearance of teeth that may be chipped, broken, poorly shaped or slightly crooked. Teeth that are more severely damaged can be physically strengthened and cosmetically restored with the application of dental crowns.
Are you wondering about whitening, and if it would work for you? Please take a moment to call 561-374-8922 now, for a no-obligation consultation. We’ll explain all your options, and let you decide. Chances are, the solution is easier than you think!
While we endeavor to help our patients avoid tooth problems, the reality is that by the time many people get to the dentist, they are already experiencing symptoms of dental distress.
Many common dental complaints — both physical and cosmetic — can be traced back to enamel damage.
Tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of the tooth. While it’s one of the hardest substances in the body, it isn’t invincible, and can be permanently damaged by the effects of the acidic foods and drinks we consume almost every day. Unlike a broken bone that can be repaired by the body, enamel has no living cells, which means the body cannot naturally repair worn out, chipped or cracked enamel.
Are you, or is someone you know, experiencing one or more of these symptoms?
- Tooth sensitivity. Tooth enamel protects the softer, more sensitive dentin underneath, so when the enamel wears away, so does protection from hot and cold.
- Tooth discoloration. As the tooth enamel wears away, the dentin underneath comes more into view, resulting in a yellow discoloration to the teeth.
- Tooth transparency. With enamel erosion, patients often notice that the tips of their front teeth start to look transparent, and in some cases the erosion actually changes the shape of the teeth.
- Cracks in the teeth, or dental decay.
While these could also be signs of other dental issues, if, after your dental consultation, we do discover you have enamel damage, we will talk about how to correct the problem before it progresses. Treatments could range from fluoride applications and specialized toothpastes to bonding, veneers or crowns, to improve both the appearance and the function of your teeth.
While regular preventive appointments are always wise, it’s especially important to come in for a professional assessment if you’re experiencing any form of dental distress.