Discoloured, chipped, worn or crooked teeth?

Natural wear and tear or tooth grinding can cause your teeth to chip or wear away. Teeth can become discoloured, chipped, worn and/or crooked, which may affect oral health and may lead to people becoming more self-conscious of their teeth. Your dentist can treat discoloured, chipped, worn and crooked teeth with a range of dental procedures.

What treatments are available for discoloured teeth?

When your teeth are discoloured, in many cases bleaching can whiten your teeth. At home, whitening involves a special mould that holds a whitening gel, used daily for two weeks. The mould will be made during a dentist appointment and the dentist will provide guidance and advice about how to use the whitening gel and the risks involved with bleaching (e.g. tooth sensitivity).

When teeth discolour due to damage inside the tooth (e.g. after root canal treatment), your tooth can be bleached from the inside. This will have to be done by your dentist. Please see your dentist to discuss all available options regarding discoloured teeth.

What treatments are available for chipped, worn or crooked teeth?

When teeth are not only discoloured, but also chipped, worn or crooked, whitening may not be the optimal treatment. In this case, the dentist may talk to you about composite bonding or placing porcelain veneers:

  • During composite bonding, chipped teeth can be repaired with aesthetic tooth-coloured materials, hiding the cracks and gaps.
  • With porcelain veneers, the length of the teeth can be restored and they will cover the front surfaces of your teeth, covering up any discoloration or damage. Veneers are only around half a millimetre thick and they can be damaged (e.g. by fingernail biting).
  • When a tooth is severely damaged you may need a crown. This is a cap that can be permanently bonded over the tooth.


An alternative to porcelain veneers or crowns may be orthodontics. Orthodontics can be suitable for you to straighten your teeth if they are crooked or spaced. Which options are best for you can be discussed with your dentist.

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