A conservative option to correct shading and coloration problems with the teeth is microabrasion. Some individuals have white and dark stains, striations, or patterns in their teeth. Many people feel very self-conscious because of this. Genetics, medications, community water type and fluoridation, and other conditions cause the teeth to appear “mottled” or as a checkerboard. A simple procedure lasting less than 1 hour can eliminate these harsh enamel discolorations.
Microabrasion is sometimes performed in combination with macroabrasion (minor shape changes with our dental handpieces), whitening/bleaching, and fluoride therapy to obtain the best results. A weak acid is polished into the tooth, similarly to the polishing at your cleaning appointment. A rubber dam or gingival mask is used for safety and isolation. After a few rounds of polishing, color changes and evening of the enamel shade typically finalizes.
This procedure is ideally used when shape changes are not needed, but staining and discoloration are present. Since minimal amount of tooth is lost (microns), the procedure is far more conservative than porcelain veneers and crowns. Results may be better or equivalent than composite resin veneers and much cheaper.