Types of Tooth Discolouration: Intrinsic and Extrinsic

Toronto Tooth Discolouration Treatment

No matter what type of tooth discolouration a person suffers from, cosmetic dentistry offers solutions. From in-house and at-home professional teeth whitening to custom-crafted restorations such as porcelain veneers and crowns, there is an appropriate treatment for virtually every smile, even the most severely stained or otherwise discoloured. At The Art of Dentistry in Toronto, tooth discolouration treatment allows our valued patients to achieve smiles as radiant as they are healthy. Whether you require a subtle refinement in colour to one or two teeth or a full smile makeover comprising multiple procedures, we can help you reach your cosmetic goals.

Categories of Tooth Discolouration

Tooth discolouration can take many possible forms, from the yellowish staining characteristic of aging and consumption of certain foods to the bluish or greyish hue associated with the use of tetracycline. Whatever the appearance of the discolouration, all of these forms can be grouped in one of two basic types:

  • Intrinsic discolouration: Intrinsic discolouration, as its name suggests, involves the inner layer of the tooth, known as the dentin. This type of discolouration can result from several possible causes, including overexposure to fluoride during childhood (fluorosis), trauma to the tooth, genetic factors, root canal therapy, failing dental restorations, and certain medications, including tetracycline and related antibiotics. Intrinsic discolouration can also result from simple aging. Over time, dentin tends to turn yellow in hue, and as teeth become worn, this discoloured dentin often becomes more visible.
  • Extrinsic discolouration: This form of discolouration involves the outermost layer of tooth, the enamel. Extrinsic discolouration is superficial in nature and is often the result of exposure to such staining agents as coffee, tea, tobacco, darkly coloured sodas, red wine, certain fruits, and other foods and beverages. Like intrinsic discolouration, it can also result from the mere passage of time, as daily wear and tear take their tolls on the enamel.

Both types of discolouration can also result from poor oral hygiene. Maintaining the natural luster of one’s teeth requires not only proper at-home hygiene regimens, but also twice-yearly trips to the dentist.

Treatments for Intrinsic and Extrinsic Tooth Discolouration

At The Art of Dentistry, we offer a full range of treatments designed to restore the teeth to their natural luminescence. These treatments include:

  • Teeth whitening: Our professional Zoom!® teeth whitening system is highly effective at dramatically lightening or altogether eliminating most extrinsic stains, as well as some deeper stains. It tends to be most effective at tackling stains that are yellowish in hue.
  • Porcelain veneers: Veneers are custom-crafted from the finest porcelain to cover the visible surface area of the front teeth, providing a natural-looking method of concealing both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth discolouration, as well as chips, cracks, and other cosmetic flaws.
  • Porcelain crowns: These restorations are crafted to cover the entire surface area of side and back teeth. Like veneers, they conceal all aesthetic flaws, including discolouration, while looking perfectly natural.
  • Dental bonding: Dental bonding involves the application of a tooth-coloured resin material to discoloured teeth, concealing both intrinsic and extrinsic stains. This treatment offers a less expensive but still excellent alternative to porcelain restorations.

Contact The Art of Dentistry Today

To learn more about tooth discolouration and how it can be treated, please contact our cosmetic dentistry practice today.