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Treating Discolored Teeth with Composite by Dr. Corky Willhite

Patients often present to the dental office with discolored or white-spot lesions on their anterior teeth. This can be a challenging situation, as there are many different options available. One of the best treatment options is direct resin composite. It is conservative and long lasting.


A 31 year old patient presented to the office with surface staining and white spot lesions on his central incisors. The dark staining was attributed to coffee consumption and cigarette smoking.

Treatment options were given to the patient and he elected conservative freehand bonding.

A prophylaxis removed the dark stain and left white spot lesions. A shade was taken and the white spots were removed with a football shaped diamond. As the white spots were not into the dentin, no anesthetic was needed. It is important to revoke all of the white spots if they are superficial, so you do not get shine-through. If dentin was exposed a microhybrid resin would have been used.

The teeth were etched and a thin coat of Cosmedent Complete bonding adhesive was applied and light cured. The only area of hybrid placement was on the distal corner of the left central. The facial build up was achieved with only a microfill. The composite is placed and carefully sculpted until it is just slightly overcontoured. This will allow for finishing and polishing.

The composite was cured for 60 seconds with a layer of Oxygone applied to eliminate the oxygen-inhibited layer.

ET burs were used to begin gross contouring. The contouring was continued with Cosmedent’s FlexiDiscs, a 4 grit disc system by Cosmedent. To create a maximum polish, FlexiBuffs with Enamelize were utilized.

The patient’s complaint was significant, and the treatment rendered satisfied both the patient and the dentist’s expectations.


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