I Can’t Afford Porcelain Veneers to Fix My Tetracycline Stains

I have ugly tetracycline stains on my teeth from medication that was given to me when I was a baby. I have had dental bonding but it has been quite awhile now so it is beginning to chip away. Do you know of any powerful tooth whitening treatments that can help someone like me?

– Rachel in California


Tetracycline staining is a difficult issue to treat. A dentist requires extensive training in cosmetic dentistry to effectively treat this kind of staining. It is important to recognize that not just any general dentist can do this kind of highly artistic work well.

Porcelain veneers are probably the most effective in covering the staining. Although, if you cannot afford this treatment, you do have other options.

Since you already had dental bonding in place, here are two options that should work well for your situation.

First, assuming that the dental bonding was originally placed keeping your enamel intact, then a dentist can sand it off. Professional tooth whitening take home trays can than be used to help whiten your teeth. But you should talk to your dentist about your situation in much detail and request the most powerful bleaching agent that you can tolerate without irritation. Follow the instructions of the cosmetic dentist, but it is likely they will suggest that you use these bleaching trays every night for a few months. This should improve the appearance of your teeth. This method won’t have the same result as beautiful porcelain veneers, but your teeth should look much nicer than they were before you whitened them.

Don’t waste your money with over-the-counter teeth whitening strips or toothpastes because they simply aren’t strong enough to combat tetracycline stains. Laser tooth whitening or Zoom whitening is powerful and convenient for most, but probably isn’t the best course of action for your specific case. This is because it will take multiple rounds of appointments to get the results you desire and that kind of treatment can become very expensive. But with take home trays, you can repeat them multiple times on your own, while only incurring the expense of the refill bleaching agent. And if you feel the refills at the dentist are too expensive, you may be able to find them cheaper on the Internet.

Another thing to consider about the removal of the dental bonding is the fact that the dentist may have already removed some of the enamel before doing the bonding. If you find yourself in this situation, porcelain veneers really are the best treatment for you. Don’t spend money on whitening and do your best to save your money for the placement of ten porcelain veneers. For the short term, you can have a dentist smooth out the chipped bonding but again this kind of work adds up very quickly. Even though porcelain veneers are expensive, it is the most ideal and cost effective option over time.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix cosmetic dentist Dr. Arthur Chal.

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