Stains on a person's teeth are rarely indicative of a serious dental health issue. However, many people dislike the impact that this type of discolouration can have on their smile and their general appearance. Here are two kinds of cosmetic dentistry treatments which can be used to address this problem.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most common methods used by dentists to lighten and remove stains from teeth. This type of treatment is most effective when a person's tooth discolouration is caused by extrinsic factors (examples of these include smoking and the consumption of red wine and coffee).

This procedure begins with the dentist using putty to take impressions of the patient's upper and lower teeth, which will allow them to make a pair of dental trays that will be a perfect fit for that particular person. This is one of the most important steps in the process; if the trays do not fit snugly against the contours of the teeth, the bleach may end up being exposed to saliva and oxygen, both of which can negatively impact its effectiveness and lead to it failing to evenly lighten the teeth.

After these trays have been created, they will apply a bleaching gel to each one and then place them onto the patient's teeth. The gel-covered trays will be left in the patient's mouth for a specific amount of time. The exact length will be dependent on the strength of the bleach solution being used.

This process may need to be repeated several times, over the course of a few weeks, to achieve the patient's desired level of stain removal and general tooth-lightening.


In instances where intrinsic factors are to blame for the tooth discolouration, teeth whitening kits may not always produce positive results. Intrinsic stains are usually caused by a person having been exposed to large quantities of fluoride or having taken multiple courses of tetracycline antibiotics during their childhood. This type of staining can also sometimes be caused by physical trauma to a tooth. In such cases, it is often more appropriate to opt for a dental treatment which will disguise the affected teeth.

Veneers can be used for this purpose. These are very thin casings made from either composite resin or porcelain, which are placed on top of stained teeth to hide any discolouration. For a veneer to be fitted, the tooth on which it is to be fitted must be 'trimmed', to create some room for the casing. After the veneer has been made, it is then attached to the tooth using a cement-like substance and a dental curing light.