Over time, dental fillings tend to pick up stains from the foods and beverages we consume. This isn't a big concern with the posterior teeth, where restorations are generally hidden during daily activities. However, discoloration can become a genuine cosmetic concern in fillings on anterior teeth.
This patient had a filling placed years ago by a different dentist to correct for abfraction, or the loss of enamel near the gum line due to stress and clenching. This type of restoration is very common and usually affects the canines and premolars (both visible in a typical smile). They were dissatisfied with the dark line around the filling that drew the eye towards that tooth. With a 10 minute appointment to polish and recontour, the filling looked brand new!
It is important to note that we checked the seal and fit of the filling first, to make sure we weren't just polishing a defective restoration. Many times, discoloration is a sign of recurrent decay, where the entire fillings needs to be replaced. If you would like to know more about fillings, their lifespans and how to care for them, please give our office a call!