Using whitening treatments to make the color of fluorosis-stained teeth more uniform.

The brown and chalky-white blemishes found on this young man's teeth are typical of a type of tooth staining termed fluorosis.

If that is the case here, the staining has been caused by the excessive ingestion of fluoride during that time frame during which his teeth were forming (when this person was just a young child).

Case issues and concerns:

  • What's most needed for these teeth is an improvement in color uniformity. People who view our teeth are less attune to their exact color than their color uniformity.
  • While the shape and alignment of this person's teeth isn't perfect, it is reasonable.
  • This picture seems to suggest that the health of this person's teeth is reasonably good. Nothing suggests that there is an underlying need for the placement of extensive dental restorations.
  • Teeth with fluorosis staining.
    Teeth with fluorosis staining. Teeth with fluorosis staining.
  • The teeth after whitening treatments.
    The teeth after whitening treatments. The teeth after whitening treatments.
 

Photo submitted by website visitor.

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Treatment solutions:

1) Teeth-whitening treatments are always worth a try. -

By using standard at-home or in-office tooth-whitening treatments (or a combination of both), it might be possible to lighten the color of the unstained portions of this person's teeth to a shade that's similar to the chalky-white fluorosis staining.

The idea is that the white stains still remain but are less obvious because the remainder of the tooth is now whiter. The treatments may also have a lightening effect on the brown staining. But even if it does, it probably won't be to the extent that it will resolve it totally (hence the need for the next step).

The whitening process should be monitored by a dentist and it may need to involve an extended number of treatments. Even then, an outcome as we've described here may not be possible.

2) After the whitening treatments, place dental bonding. -

If the bleaching treatments were able to make a substantial improvement with the overall appearance of the fluorosis, then those isolated regions that didn't respond (like the brown areas) could be masked by placing dental bonding.

3) If the whitening results aren't acceptable, porcelain veneers could be placed. -

If the whitening treatments really didn't even come close to resolving the fluorosis in a manner that the patient found satisfactory, then placing porcelain veneers could be considered.

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