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  Dr Minh Nguyen
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Discolored Teeth
Front teeth
There are many causes of discolored front teeth. Genetics, drugs taken while the teeth are forming (such as tetracycline and fluoride), infected teeth, root canal treatment, smoking, and certain foods may contribute to dark or stained teeth.

Treatment options
After a root canal
For stains or discoloration caused by foods or smoking

Back teeth
A number of factors can contribute to tooth discoloration in back teeth, including genetics, drugs taken during tooth formation, infected teeth, root canal treatment, smoking and consumption of certain foods. However, silver amalgam fillings are the primary cause. Silver fillings contain copper, mercury, tin, and silver that can, over time, blacken the teeth and the gums.

Treatment
Dentists have several white filling materials they can use to replace dark silver fillings.

1. Direct resins: These can be placed directly on the tooth in a single appointment. The correct shade of resin is selected, pressed into place, sculpted, hardened with a special light, and finally adjusted and polished. Direct resins are economical, strong, and adequate restorations but are generally less durable than the other white fillings in this category

2. Indirect resins: The term "indirect" means that the restoration is constructed on a model in a lab rather than directly in a patient's mouth. Involving a lab makes this a two-appointment procedure. A dental lab uses additional techniques to harden these restorations and make them significantly more durable.

3. Indirect hybrid resins: Recently developed materials, indirect hybrid resins, combine the durability of porcelain with the flexibility of resin (plastic). Like indirect resins, these restorations are fabricated in a laboratory under heat and light. Two or more appointments are necessary, but the result is an extremely high-quality restoration.

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