Glendale Cosmetic Dentist Explains How to Correct the Appearance of Severely Damaged Teeth

Written by Dr. McKay on Jul 28, 2014

In the world of cosmetic dentistry, some aesthetic problems are easier to correct than others. Patients who have generally healthy teeth with a few surface stains may be able to achieve beautiful smiles with only professional teeth whitening treatments. Other patients, however, with conditions that affect the structure or development of the tooth, may need to explore cosmetic options that transform the entire appearance of the smile.


Two conditions specifically, dental fluorosis and tetracycline staining, can leave young patients with teeth that look old, stained and uneven. Both of these conditions are caused when the normal development of adult teeth is disrupted.


Dental fluorosis occurs when developing adult teeth are exposed to high levels of fluoride. If children consume too much fluoride in water or dental hygiene products, their adult teeth may form with stains and surface unevenness. These patients, therefore, have to live with stained, damaged teeth as soon as their adult teeth emerge.

Tetracycline staining, as the name suggests, is caused by the antibiotic tetracycline. Like fluorosis, children with developing teeth are at risk of developing tetracycline staining, which leaves deep, dark stains or streaks calcified within the tooth. These stains are resistant to traditional teeth whitening treatments, precisely because they are embedded in the tooth as the tooth forms.


Understandably, patients who suffer from these conditions can feel quite self-conscious about their smiles; our Glendale dentists have found that some patients go to great lengths to hide their teeth from the world. It doesn’t have to be like this, however; many patients with tetracycline stains or dental fluorosis can benefit from cosmetic dentistry solutions that actually cover the entire front surface of the tooth. Two such treatments are:


Dental veneers: thin layers of porcelain that are permanently affixed directly to teeth. Porcelain veneers can completely resurface, reshade, and reshape damaged teeth.


Snap-on-Smile: This dental appliance fits completely over existing teeth. It is removable, so this is a great solution for patients who are looking for a short-term solution, or who still have teeth that are growing or shifting.


Both of these treatment options can help patients with tetracycline staining or dental fluorosis, because dental veneers and Snap-on-Smile both visually resurface teeth—fixing both flaws in coloring and irregular enamel surfaces.


If you or someone you know has been considering cosmetic dentistry treatments, give our Glendale cosmetic dental office a call for more information. We’re here to help you get a smile you love to show off.