woman smiling

Bringing the shine to your smile

Take back control over the shade of your teeth!

Are you satisfied with how they look? With the options available to you both at home and your local dentist Coorparoo, you could look a bit more into the treatment potential of lightening your teeth and which techniques could be most suitable for you.

Surface enamel staining

Surface-level enamel staining is the most common. There is a wide range of things that could cause this staining, but they all involve the adhesion of a material to the outer surface of the tooth. It may involve calcified plaque known as tartar, the brown tannins from tea and coffee or even the nicotine that can cause issues with colouration when you smoke.

Deep enamel and dentin staining

This staining can result from compounds infiltrating deep into the enamel and even into the dentine below. Some of these compounds may have come from the oral cavity and penetrated the teeth, but most have found their way into the teeth via the bloodstream.

This is most commonly seen with the intake of extreme supplements in the diet like copper deposits being laid down in lines or the brown staining associated with high fluoride ingestion, which was more common in the 19th century.

Genetic factors staining teeth

Conditions like dentine imperfecta can alter the shade and appearance of teeth. For those suffering such conditions, it can be tempting to engage in teeth whitening by using either abrasion or bleaching techniques. But before beginning treatment, it is important to consult a medical professional as the effects of dental whitening will vary greatly, depending on the condition and, in some cases, could worsen the aesthetic appearance of the patient’s teeth.

At-home dental whitening vs whitening in the clinic

dentist and patient

Two main options for whitening treatment are those that can be carried out at home and those that can only occur under the supervision of a dental surgery. Both forms of treatment perform the same task with often similar methods but it’s surprising how different they can be.

The first big difference is with abrasion techniques because they are inherently destructive and they risk damaging the enamel, so they are strictly restricted to clinics with only the limited version available in at-home kinds of toothpaste that use an abrasive agent. But their outcomes are limited by the thoroughness with which the patient brushes, giving a wide variety of results.

The next is the implementation of bleaching techniques. At-home bleaching kits have strictly limited the concentration of hydrogen peroxide permitted; this is due to the hazards that hydrogen peroxide has towards the site of the gums. When carried out using a dental dam in a clinic, much higher concentrations can be used.

This has its pros and cons. What can be achieved rapidly in the clinic could take many weeks with the home treatment. Some patients prefer a gradual alteration in the shade of their teeth, making the change more natural and easier to adjust to, whereas others have a time limit, preferring a faster treatment option.


Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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