Stained Teeth

Dentist New York- Lawrence Spindel DDS


Stained Teeth by Lawrence Spindel, Sunday June 1, 2008

What to do about your stained teeth? First of all buy a good electric toothbrush. Oral B 3D is my personal favorite, but Sonicare claims their brush is especially good at removing stains from teeth and I do find that the ultrasound is good at removing extrinsic stains. Second, you should have your teeth cleaned at your dentist. Hygienists and dentists have a number of tools available for stain removal. A cavitron is an ultrasonic cleaning device for cleaning teeth which is particularly helpful. It has a thin metal tip which delivers water, vibrates at high frequency and when rested on teeth, tends to remove stains although my office doesn’t use it; Pophy Jet uses baking soda slurry to gently remove stains. Lastly, the prophy paste that we use at the end of a cleaning has pumice in it and tends to scours most residual stain. If your teeth are stained you definitely should go get them cleaned at the dentist.

Some stains get into groove or cracks in the teeth and are hard even for a dentist or hygienist to get out. Some report success using the Prophy Jet effectively for this type of stain removal and I have found that bleaching teeth can be helpful. A last resort would be gently removing the stained crack with a very fine diamond and then placing bonding to seal that area (The result can be very esthetic.)

Teeth can be stained grey from silver fillings. Amalgam tends to corrode with time and leaves a black residue on teeth next to the filling and teeth with old silver fillings can take on a gray appearance. Often removing the filling and taking a fine diamond to micro abrade the internal stained surfaces will remove most if not all of the discoloration. The silver filling is then replaced with a white filling or a porcelain crown to achieve an excellent esthetic result.

Some people have yellow teeth which are not really stained, but bleaching of teeth tends to whiten the teeth and will get rid of the yellow. Tetracycline stain is a true intrinsic stain and bleaching alone does not always get rid of it. Some patients choose to ‘fix’ their tetracycline stains by having the dentist place porcelain veneers over their teeth and can achieve significant esthetic improvements of their smiles.

If you are bothered by discolored teeth a visit to your dentist will most likely provide you with a solution and if you would like feel free to call our midtown New York dental office for a dental consultation. 212-685-0312