Teeth Stained by Tetracycline? 3 Ways to Get a Whiter Smile

Dentist Blog

Your smile is one of the first things that many people notice when they meet you for the first time. Because of this, teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry have become more popular than ever before. Americans spend more than $1.4 billion on average on over-the-counter teeth whitening. However, in some cases over-the-counter products are not enough to get a bright smile. This is often the case with teeth stained by tetracycline.

Tetracycline is an antibiotic that while very effective can cause brown, yellow, or gray stains on the teeth if administered to anyone under the age of 10 or during pregnancy. Here are three ways to get a whiter smile after tetracycline staining. 

In-Office Whitening

The first step toward brightening tetracycline stained teeth is in-office whitening. The bleaching agents in in-office teeth whitening are far stronger than what's available in at-home kits. Lights are also often used to speed the process along. It's possible to whiten tetracycline stained teeth a few shades with this method but it is not always successful. The cost of in-office teeth whitening starts around $500 and can cost more depending on the exact process. This procedure is best for those who have minor staining from tetracycline.

Dental Bonding

Another option for those who have light tetracycline staining is dental bonding. Dental bonding simply involves placing a tooth colored composite material onto the tooth and then shaping it and polishing it to the desired look. Deep stains can show through the bonding, however, lighter stains can be easily masked. The average cost of dental bonding is between $300 and $600 per tooth. 


If in-office whitening treatments or dental bonding do not get the desired results, veneers may be the solution. Veneers are thin porcelain or composite shells that fit over the teeth in order to change their shape, color, and even size. Veneers can disguise most of the staining caused by tetracycline. They are a long lasting option and are a great option for patients whose teeth don't respond to whitening treatments and who have severe staining from tetracycline.

They are pricey, however. The cost ranges anywhere from $250 to $2,500 per tooth depending on the material used for the veneer, the location of the teeth, and the skill of the professionals who make the veneers. 

Tetracycline stains can be difficult to treat. However, there are plenty of ways that cosmetic dentistry can help. In-office whitening and dental bonding can work well on mild to even moderate staining from tetracycline. Severe staining will likely require veneers in order to produce the desired results. To learn more about your options, visit resources like http://www.drclschneiderdentalcare.com.


7 September 2017