Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

September 4, 2017

Wanting a cheap way to fix tetracycline stains

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I have terrible Tetracycline stains and thinking about Veneers, I am curious if the they cover just the front of the tooth?
Also, I am 60 years old and really want a nice smile before I pass on, not wealthy at all. Are there any dental schools that do work with interns?
Tony from Louisiana

Porcelain veneers cover the fronts of the teeth, but in the case of tetracycline-stained teeth, they need to wrap around the teeth somewhat in order to completely cover the very dark stain of tetracycline.

As far as the cost, you are in for potentially serious trouble if you are looking for cut-rate porcelain veneers. Covering tetracycline stains is a very demanding cosmetic dentistry procedure and I wouldn’t consider going to any dentist who would charge less than about $1000-1200 per tooth for this. I would absolutely not go to a dental school for this. Dental schools exist to teach the fundamental techniques of dentistry, not the artistry, and they are so ingrained with an engineering mentality that most dental school professors actually look down their noses at cosmetic dentists and procedures that patients want just to enhance their appearance. Also, not only would your “intern” be doing his or her first tetracycline case, but likely the instructor would also.

If you want to save money, the best way to do that is to do nothing. Otherwise, I would simply save up and have this done right. Make a selection from among the best cosmetic dentists in your area. Check out my recommendations in Lousiana–I list several excellent cosmetic dentists there. You want a dentist who has done several tetracycline cases and can show you beautiful before-and-after photographs of his or her results. Otherwise, your first attempt at having this done would probably end up being throwaway money, and then you would have to swallow hard and pay the full price to have your teeth re-done right. I have a huge stack of emails from patients who have made the mistake you’re contemplating making.

Another option for saving money without risking the need for expensive corrective work would be Kör whitening. I believe that Kör is the strongest whitening system available, and while it doesn’t whiten as much as some dentists claim, it could lighten your stains considerably for a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers and without the risk of needing later expensive corrective work.

– Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

1 Comment »

  1. I love that you give options when the ideal choice is out of someone’s budget. Fortunately, Kör whitening doesn’t require an expert cosmetic dentist.

    Comment by Annmarie — September 4, 2017 @ 4:45 pm

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