By the time most people reach adulthood, simply drinking tea or coffee will cause some staining to teeth. In addition, genetics, tobacco use, stress level, diet, and medications can impact the appearance of teeth. What this means is that, if you have spots or discoloration on your teeth, you are not alone.

Dark or yellow spots on your teeth can occur because of the food and drinks that you consume every day. Coffee, red wine, fruit juices, and even soy sauce and tomato sauce can leave behind dark stains or make your teeth look yellow. On top of the staining foods, soda and some fruits and vegetables contain high levels of acidity that eat through your enamel. Cavities are another cause of dark spots on teeth.

Stained teeth can ruin an otherwise attractive smile, destroying confidence and making social interaction less enjoyable. Fortunately, modern patients with dental discoloration can turn to a number of cosmetic treatments for relief.

Discover how to get rid of spots on your teeth with cosmetic dentistry in Los Gatos.

1. Hide Cavities and Staining with Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a cap that fits over a damaged tooth to return function and strength. If you had a large cavity that left a black or dark brown spot on your tooth, a dental crown can effectively cover it up. Additionally, when a dental crown covers your tooth, it covers your entire tooth. That means any other visible stains or discoloration will get covered too. Dental crowns can also cover chips, cracks, or other physical imperfections on your teeth.

young man embarrassed by his teeth

2. Restore Chipped and Damaged Teeth with Dental Bonding

Chips and cracks are other dental problems that can cause discoloration. Dental bonding is a special process that involves applying resin over the crack or chip and hardening it with a special light. The resin comes in a variety of colors that lets your damaged tooth blend with the rest of your teeth. Bonding works well on chipped teeth, a tooth that shows signs of decay or a fractured tooth.

Like veneers, dental bonding offers fast concealment of heavy external or internal tooth discoloration. The procedure involves placing an opaque, color-matched composite resin on discolored areas of the teeth and sculpting and smoothing the resin to make it look natural. Afterward, the resin is permanently hardened using a dental light or laser. Requiring only a single appointment and often taking less than an hour, bonding can last for several years and can conceal gaps, cracks, and other imperfections in addition to stains.

Dental bonding also has a more extensive impact than simple whitening and can cover stains that don’t respond to professional whitening. It is a relatively quick in-office outpatient procedure and is often more affordable as well.

3. Use Veneers For a Bright Smile

Dental veneers offer fast, minimally invasive replacement of the fronts of teeth, making veneers ideal for concealing deep discoloration. The thickness of veneers also makes them useful for hiding other imperfections, such as gaps, chips, and cracks. Although the need for preparation varies between types of veneers, most require significant enamel removal before they can be bonded to the teeth. Placed in two to three appointments, veneers can last for decades with daily dental hygiene and regular check-ups. They even offer some protection against future staining.

A porcelain veneer is a custom-made cover for each tooth. They are considered a relatively permanent way to fix both spots on teeth and surface irregularities. Some of the tooth’s surface is filed away to give the veneer room and a surface to adhere to. The veneer is bonded to the tooth, changing how the smile appears. Porcelain veneers are the best option if, in addition to unwanted discoloration, you also have chips, cracks, gaps, worn teeth, or irregularly shaped teeth that do not match.

4. Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular and accessible options to fix spots on teeth. Whitening can also be a very affordable option simply due to the vast number of products available. Many people will combine different products to achieve desired results, such as scheduling a professional in-office dental whitening, then using whitening toothpaste when brushing. Some may also combine these with using whitening trays at home for periodic touch-ups as needed.

Here are some of the most popular ways to whiten your teeth

  • Toothpaste
  • Strips or pens
  • Whitening trays
  • Professional dental tooth whitening

Professional teeth whitening is faster and more effective than over-the-counter whitening kits. While over-the-counter kits can take months to work, professional teeth whitening can produce results in just an hour. In-office whitening begins with the application of a barrier to protect soft oral tissues before placing the whitening gel on the teeth. For certain types of whitening treatments, the dentist must activate the bleaching process with a light. We can repeat the procedure to reach the shade desired by the patient. Teeth whitening can work well for surface stains caused by foods, drinks, and smoking, but it is ineffective for discoloration resulting from internal tooth decay.

Get Cosmetic Dentistry in Los Gatos

Appearance and social confidence can be disrupted by a stained, unsightly smile. With the cosmetic dental procedures listed here, you can eliminate discoloration on either the surfaces or insides of your teeth. If you would like to learn more about how cosmetic dentistry can help improve your smile, please contact our Los Gatos cosmetic dentist for a consultation. Please call (408) 354-5600 to book an appointment today.