I have really ugly teeth and wanted to get them whitened. However, my dentist said my teeth are endogenous and because of that, I cannot get them whitened. Is that true? If so, is there anything I can do to make them look better? I am so embarrassed by my smile.
Dear Kelly Anne,
There is always something you can do to make your teeth look better. I’m sorry your dentist was zero help to you. I am not crazy about it when dentists use clinical words with patients without explaining what it means. That doesn’t help you at all.
What he is trying to say is the stains on your teeth are endogenous, not your teeth themselves. Endogenous stains are simply stains that were acquired while your tooth was developing. There are two categories of this that dentists see most often.
The first is tetracycline stains. These are the result of taking the tetracycline medication during childhood while your teeth were still developing. Even professional teeth whitening does not make much headway with these type of stains. They are just too deep and dark.
The second is fluorosis stains. These are the result of consuming too much fluoride during your teeth’s development. While they are more superficial, teeth whitening is still not a good solution because the fluorosis stains usually result is splotched teeth. Because teeth whitening bleaches the teeth uniformly, the teeth will be whiter but still splotchy. That’s not an attractive look.
The Solution for Endogenous Teeth Stains
The best solution in both of these cases is to have porcelain veneers placed. These tiny wafers of porcelain that cover your teeth are the go-to procedure for celebrity smile makeovers. They can change anything you want about your smile, including the shape, size, and color.
The only real catch with these is it requires an advanced cosmetic dentist to give you beautiful results. Smile makeovers are not taught in dental school. It is up to the dentist how much training they invest in to do this type of work. Tetracycline stains, especially, are among the most difficult cases for a dentist to do. In your place, I would only go to an AACD accredited dentist.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.