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Cosmetic Dentistry
Discolored Teeth

Having bright white teeth has become a norm for our society. It used to be that only children and few young adults had white teeth. Just like getting gray hair, getting yellow teeth were an accepted change as we went thru life. The media and celebrities have changed our standards. Just like there is no reason to see and you do not expect to see an active woman of any age to have gray hair, you do not expect to see a man or woman of any age to have yellow discolored teeth.

External causes of staining

There are many reasons for discolored teeth. The most common is the accumulation of stains from foods and drinks. Obviously more exposure to darker substances stains the teeth faster. Smoking and continuous sipping of coffee are the major culprits. However, anything that has any color to it stains the teeth. The good news about external staining is that they respond very well to various bleaching methods.

In-office Laser Bleaching

Laser Bleaching

I have adapted a very unique approach that makes the in-office bleaching a real success. The process takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and is highly effective. I will be anaesthetizing the teeth to be bleached for your utmost comfort. Usually patients choose a movie from the hundreds of titles we have to watch on the overhead monitors and by the time the movie is over their teeth are whiter.

One of the limiting factors for people who whiten their teeth is the sensitivity that they develop during the process. Even though the bleaching solutions have been buffered to minimize this sensitivity, it still is the major restrictive factor to bleach the teeth to the maximum.

Take home bleaching

For maximum control of your whitening, you can have trays made from a mold of your teeth and apply the solution at home to your teeth. For best results I recommend that you start by doing an in office laser bleaching session and get the trays for touchup bleaching at home.

Take Home Teeth Bleaching

Frank, who works for E! Entertaiment liked everything about his teeth except their color. I learned that he keeps long hours in the company of his coffee mug. We made molds of his teeth and made him customized trays that kept the bleaching solution on his teeth. He wore the trays for one hour each day for 5 days.

Internal causes of staining

Bleaching Mottled Tooth Enamel

Mottled enamel - In recent years I have seen an alarming increase in another form of tooth discoloration that appear as white/yellowish patches of opaqueness on the surface of teeth. This condition that is called “Mottled Enamel” is result of a condition called “Fluorosis” or excessive ingestion of fluorides during tooth development ages. Fluorosis used to be seen in certain areas that used uncontrolled sources of water (like water straight from private wells) that were rich in Fluoride salts.

The recent surge in Fluorosis cases seen in the Los Angeles and other metropolitan areas are most likely due to multiple sources of fluoride supplementation resulting in a net fluoride ingestion that is above the optimal level.

Systemic Flourides - Ingestion of the right amount of fluoride during enamel-forming stages (birth through 10 years of age), will strengthen the enamel of the teeth and make them more resistant to the acid attack from bacteria which cause dental caries (cavities).

Many municipalities in the U.S., have recognized this fact and add the right amount of fluoride (one part per million) to the drinking water of the cities. This is mainly responsible for the reduction of the dental decay in the current young population of the United States. After the eradication of smallpox by the smallpox vaccine, fluoride has been recognized as the most effective single agent against an infectious disease.

However, the increase in the use of water-softening devices and bottled water in health-conscious families deprives these people from the cavity-fighting advantages of fluoride. You must consult a dentist for the right amount of fluoride supplements if you do not get it from the municipal water supply.

Tetracycline Stains - Administration of Tetracycline anti-biotic during pregnancy or the first few years of life is the classic cause of grayish discoloration of teeth. With our present knowledge of this adverse reaction, physicians and dentists must avoid prescribing antibiotics from this family during tooth development ages. I hope and predict tetracycline staining of the teeth to become extinct in the coming years.

Developmental Anomalies - Certain developmental anomalies like Amelogenesis Imperfecta can cause a deep seated yellow brown stain on the teeth. SEE AHMED

Intrinsic stains do not respond to bleaching techniques satisfactorily. The treatment varies depending on the case.


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Parsa T. Zadeh, DDS, FAGD, FICOI
Beverly Hills Center for Reconstructive and Cosmetic Dentistry
9100 Wilshire Boulevard • Suite W448 • Beverly Hills, California 90212
(310) 273-9919parsa@zadehdentistry.com

Disclaimer: Dr. Zadeh has performed all the dental procedures shown. The text of this site is written by and is the
professional opinion of Dr. Zadeh. Any reproduction of any part of this site is prohibited. This website is for informational
purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for a professional medical diagnosis, opinion or suggested course of
treatment. Please see your dentist or other health care professional for a professional medical opinion.

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