For the past 15 years, I’ve had dental bonding for tetracycline stains. The bonding is beginning to wear and look dull. My dentist of four years is pushing porcelain veneers, but I cannot afford them. I’ve told him several times that I cannot afford veneers. I can barely afford to get the bonding redone. I do not know if there are any new dental products or techniques that work well but are less expensive than dental bonding for tetracycline stains. I cannot rely on my dentist to tell me about all my options. Are there alternatives to veneers or bonding? Thank you. Lynn from MO
Tetracycline deposits in the dentin of your teeth if you take the antibiotic as a child while your teeth are still developing. Dark gray or brown spots develop inside the teeth show through to outside of your teeth and detract from your smile.
It is risky for a general dentist to conceal tetracycline stains. You need a dentist with post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry.
What If You Cannot Afford Porcelain Veneers for Tetracycline Stains?
If you cannot afford porcelain veneers for tetracycline stains, your options are dental bonding or teeth whitening—but only from an advanced, preferably accredited cosmetic dentist. Don’t try whitening your teeth yourself. You can make them look worse.
- Teeth whitening – A cosmetic dentist can take impressions of your teeth for custom bleaching trays. The dentist can provide you with the most potent bleaching gel you can tolerate without making your teeth sensitive. Bleach your teeth nightly for two months. Although your teeth will not look as good as porcelain veneers or dental bonding, they will look much better.
- Dental bonding – An advanced cosmetic dentist can remove your existing bonding and apply new bonding to your teeth. But to do it correctly will be expensive. And if you maintain the bonding properly over the years, it can become more expensive than porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can last up to 20 years—or a lifetime.
- Combination of whitening and bonding – A cosmetic dentist may recommend treating your teeth with a combination of teeth whitening and dental bonding.
Schedule a consultation for tetracycline stains
Look for an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area to discuss treatment options for tetracycline stains. Ask to see patient photos of cases like yours. The dentist may offer payment plans or financing to make treatment more affordable.
Steven Brooksher, DDS, an accredited cosmetic dentist in Baton Rouge, sponsors this post.