Ask The Dentist – Whiter Teeth

A Hertfordshire patient asks if it is too late for her to have whiter teeth.

In the next of our ‘ask the dentist’ series, our team at The Lodge Dental Suite answers a patient whose teeth have sustained severe staining for many years.

Q. I am now in my fifties, and, like many of my generation, I am very reluctant to give up on the remnants of a youthful appearance. I have previously had some facial treatment at your Cheshunt dental practice and happened to mention to the practitioner, that I hated the way that my teeth looked, and she suggested that I ask you about having them whitened. The problem is that for many years I was a heavy smoking, red wine drinking socialiser, and my teeth are proof of this, having sustained severe staining during those years. I’ve always presumed that they were too badly stained for any cosmetic treatment to work. What do you think?

Hello, and thank you for the question. Your problem is not uncommon and we have successfully treated many people over the years, whitening patients teeth with our in house treatment, or using our bespoke home whitening kit. It is impossible to say how effective these would be on your teeth though, without seeing them first. I think that your first step should be to arrange an initial consultation so that we can examine your teeth and help you make an informed decision.

At the very worst, either of our whitening treatments would improve the whiteness of your teeth. Whether this would be significant enough or not is another matter, and, following examination, we could advise you on what your expectations should be. An alternative to teeth whitening, is to have porcelain veneers fitted to the front of your teeth. This is a more invasive procedure as it involves the removal of a fine layer of the stained front surface of the tooth, which is then replaced with a porcelain veneer of the same thickness. This, rather than whitening your existing tooth, instead replaces the affected surface with a nicer looking veneer.

Veneers are highly resistant to future staining as porcelain is not porous, making this a potentially ideal solution if your teeth are as badly stained as you indicate. Depending on how you feel about it; if you were reluctant to jump to this step, you could have a teeth whitening procedure first; see how happy you were with the colour, and then consider veneers if you were not satisfied.

As always though, the first step is to allow us to take a look at your teeth and we can then offer our professional dental advice to enable you to make an informed decision. Our Hertfordshire dentists are here to help you create a smile that you are happy with and we look forward to seeing you.

Please call The Lodge Dental Suite today, to make an appointment for an initial consultation on 01992 643388.