What Can Be Done for Tetracycline Stains?

How often are porcelain veneers recommended to rectify tetracycline stains? Will tooth shaping be necessary? What is the longevity of the tooth after veneers are put on?

Doctor Answers 6

Tetracycline Stains

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Tetracycline stains can be lightened overall by bleaching, but the stains are not removed. Some people are happy and satisfied with this level of improvement, others are not. Porcelain veneers will cover tetracycline stains and will probably give the best results. Some tooth reduction will be necessary to allow for enough thickness of porcelain to cover the stain. Porcelain veneers can last ten or twenty years when properly done and cared for, but it's realistic to expect that they will need to be redone at least once in your lifetime.

Cleveland Dentist

Porcelain Veneers Great For Tetracycline Stains

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Without question, porcelain veneers are the best long term solution or tetracycline stains.  Unfortunately, teeth bleaching does not work well at all for these stains, because they are intrinsic (deep stains).  Porcelain veneers can be done and in visits and will dramatically change your smile.   The veneers are bonded to the teeth and the long term prognosis after this treatment is completed is excellent. Remember, these cases can be tricky and should be done by a dentist with lots of training in cosmetic dentistry.

Treating tetracycline staining

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When teeth have tetracycline staining you can try whitening with a product like KoR whitening which is geared for dark stained teeth but the success will be defined by the expectations of the patient.  If whitening is not an option then you would probably benefit from porcelain veneers.  Because you state that you have tetracycline stains the tooth would have to be prepared a little heavier to hide the dark color from showing through the veneer.

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Can tetracycline stains be removed

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you can try bleaching , whitening, there are many methods. in my profile photos, I soon will have a great before after photo. However depending on the extent of the stain, the best result are achieved with porcelain veneers.

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

Tetracycline stains are best handled by porcelain veneers

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There are a few methods to whiten teeth affected by tetracycline, but "success" is only defined by the satisfaction of the patient.  Most cases are only successful after porcelain veneers, as most cases desire perfectly white teeth.

If the teeth are perfectly straight, then very minimal shaping of the teeth is needed for veneers if the teeth are not stained.  Stained teeth need a bit more bulk to block out the stains, so the teeth need an average of an additional 0.5 mm reduction.

Cases like this, if done properly, can last decades.

What can be done for Tetracyline stains

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Long term whitening can help.  This usually involves custom fitte trays with reservoirs for the whitening material. It may take a few weeks and in some extreme cases a few months of wear. Usually an hour a day up to 8 hours sleep. The one hour in office system can be an adjunct or a quick start but cannot replace the longer duration trays. In my experience the best system to do this is the Kor whitening system that uses refrigerated bleach to maximize the potency. The other alternative is to do Porcelain Veneers with an experience dentist who can plan your case from begining ot end. This is a more expensive procedure and involves removing tooth structure to allow for the thickness of porcelain.  These Veneers are  made in layers to allow for the opaquing of the dark stains.

Steven Glassman, DDS
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.