Tetracycline teeth staining

tetracycline teeth treatment

Tetracycline teeth staining treatment options

Tetracycline teeth staining occurs from taking tetracycline medication when the teeth are forming, before they erupt into the mouth. This occurs during childhood but some staining will occur in teenagers as a black band on wisdom teeth roots.

Before and after photo of some older porcelain fused to metal crowns that covered tetracycline stained teeth that we replaced.
Before and after photo of some tetracycline stained teeth that we replaced the older crowns.

What are your treatment options for tetracycline staining on permanent teeth?

You can cover the surfaces with either composite veneers or ceramic veneers. You can also try to whiten your teeth with whitening agents.

Dental veneers for tetracycline stained teeth

Veneers or crowns are the only method to really improve the look for your smile if you have tetracycline staining of the permanent teeth. Even this can be challenging as the best material for veneers needs to be fairly thick to hide the staining. The thicker the veneer the more tooth we need to remove and pretty soon it becomes a crown instead of a veneer. Less tooth removal is better but if you are going to do this job then it needs to be done right and if the tetracycline stained teeth need crowns then that is what should be done.

Whether the veneers are made from composite or ceramic is up to you and the dentist. Some dentists have a preference and all we recommend is go with the professionals preference over yours if you feel you have the right dentist for the job. The dentist will do what works best in his/her hands and that is not always the same for every dentist.

Replacement dental veneers from tetracycline staining.
Replacement of the original dental veneers from tetracycline staining with new dental veneers.

Whitening or bleaching options

Tetracycline teeth whitening is very challenging and takes an incredible amount of effort and the results are never very good. Even in the very best cases the teeth look fake bright white with heavy gray and black undertones, in my opinion they can look even worse, like this. We do not offer this as an option because the results are not esthetic. It can improve things but the result will not be very noticeable to anyone else.

If someone wants to try whitening, the best way would be to get bleaching trays and whiten as much as you can for about a year. The cost and pain from the whitening agent is a major hurdle, as is the time and routine commitment. We do have our patients do a power whitening before we get them ready for veneers. However, that is more to remove any external staining.

Updating older tetracycline stained teeth treatment

Many patients with tetracycline staining have porcelain crowns with metal under as their original treatment. These are typically not as esthetic as modern materials and often will show a black line at the gum line.

Before and after photo of tetracycline teeth staining treatment with dental veneers.
Before and after photo of tetracycline stained teeth originally treated with an older porcelain that we replaced with ceramic dental veneers.