Even though I have always been really careful to take good care of my teeth, my front two teeth have always been ugly and discolored. They were OK before I lost my baby teeth, but my adult teeth came in with these brown stains that I just cannot get rid of.
I recently graduated from college, and am starting to interview for my first professional position. I feel like my teeth are really holding me back. They create an impression that I am careless, and I am any but that!
Under the care of my dentist, I have tried every kind of over-the-counter whitening product there is. This just seems to be making the situation worse. The teeth around the spots get whiter, but that makes the spots themselves look even darker. At my last visit, I told my dentist that I am really frustrated with our lack of progress, and he suggested what he called “an experiment”, where he would grind away the front of my tooth to remove the discoloration. The only thing is, he doesn’t know how much he might have to grind off! I have an appointment, but the more I think about this plan the worse it sounds.
Does this sound like a normal course of treatment? We’ve never tried professional whitening with the laser–would that be better?
I could really use some advice. Thanks in advance.
Vanessa in Shreveport
Do not keep that appointment to let your dentist conduct his “experiment”. He does not seem to understand whitening, and his attempts to manually remove the stains could do a great deal of damage to your teeth. It is also very unlikely that professional whitening will produce any better results than the over-the-counter products.
I strongly recommend that you find a skilled, trained cosmetic dentist to help you determine the best course of treatment. Depending on the type and severity of the stains on your teeth, there is a small chance that a procedure called microabrasion could work to remove the stains. Generally, only the most superficial brown stains can be removed with microabrasion, but it is a possibility worth discussing with a qualified, experienced cosmetic dentist.
You are likely looking at porcelain veneers or direct dental bonding to address the issue. Both of these procedures are beyond the skill sets of most dentists, so it is very important for you to chose the right dentist to help you.
Best of luck to you in your new profession.