Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to treat a number of infections. Like any other medication, tetracycline has potential side effects. If a child is exposed to tetracycline in utero or up to the age of 8, it can stain permanent teeth that are forming below the gum line.
Tetracycline stains make the teeth look gray or brown, instead of white. Because tetracycline stains are intrinsic, meaning they affect the inner structure of the tooth, traditional teeth whitening to minimize stains may be ineffective. Fortunately, there are whitening options for tetracycline stains. Dr. Bruce Wilderman can help our patients from Philadelphia, PA, Doylestown, PA, Bucks County, and surrounding areas find the cosmetic dentistry treatment that will most effectively brighten their smile.
KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching™
Teeth whitening treatment uses a bleaching formula to lift stains from dental enamel and improve the color of the teeth. Most teeth whitening treatments work only on the outer layer of tooth enamel, meaning that they are only effective on extrinsic stains, and not tetracycline stains. However, KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching is a little different.
KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching is a two-step process that penetrates the deeper layers of the teeth. Patients undergo about two weeks of at-home teeth whitening before coming in for an in-office treatment. This deep bleaching system is one of the only teeth whitening treatments that may be effective on tetracycline stains. However, even with deep bleaching, tetracycline stains cannot be completely removed, so patients should have realistic expectations before settling on this whitening option.
Cosmetic Dental Bonding
Cosmetic dental bonding offers a fast, affordable, and non-invasive way for our patients to whiten teeth affected by tetracycline stains. Cosmetic dental bonding does not change the color of the actual tooth, but it conceals stains so that patients can enjoy a brighter, whiter smile.
During cosmetic dental bonding treatment, a tooth-colored compound is applied to the surface of the teeth. Dr. Wildermann shapes the compound so it sits closely over the tooth and looks like a natural part of the smile. Cosmetic dental bonding is not permanent, but it can last for up to ten years, after which time treatment can be repeated.
Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular whitening options for our patients with tetracycline stains. Like dental bonding, porcelain veneers hide tetracycline stains, rather than changing the color of the teeth. However, porcelain veneers can easily treat a large set of teeth, so if more than one tooth is affected by stains, veneers are much more practical than dental bonding. Porcelain veneers can also conceal chips, cracks, gaps, or minor misalignment problems, so they are a great option when multiple cosmetic flaws are present.
During porcelain veneers treatment, Dr. Wilderman removes a thin layer of enamel from the surface of the teeth. He then bonds veneers to the front of the teeth to give patients a smile that looks bright, white, and even. Porcelain veneers are thin, translucent ceramic shells that reflect light like the natural teeth. With proper care, porcelain veneers can whiten the smile for 15 years or more.
A dental crown is a small restorative cap that sits over the tooth to restore its strength and beauty. Dental crowns are not the most common treatment for tetracycline stains. However, if a tooth has also suffered structural damage, or if a single tooth is affected by tetracycline stains, we may suggest a dental crown to improve the health and appearance of the tooth.
Get in Touch
If you are interested in enhancing the appearance of teeth that have been affected by tetracycline stains, Dr. Bruce Wilderman would be happy to help you explore your cosmetic dentistry treatment options. To learn more about whitening the teeth, get in touch with our dental practice at your earliest convenience, or call (215) 340-1199 to schedule an appointment. We serve patients from Philadelphia, Doylestown, Bucks County, and surrounding areas.