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Teeth Stained From Tetracycline? 3 Options for a Brighter Smile

Brighter Smile
As far as teeth stains go, the ones caused by the antibiotic tetracycline can be very difficult to deal with. Doctors prescribe tetracycline for a variety of infections including acne, various sexually transmitted diseases and even malaria.
Unfortunately, one of the side effects of tetracycline is permanent tooth discoloration. This is especially true if the antibiotic was taken during childhood or if the patient was exposed while in the womb.
The discoloration is caused by the tetracycline bonding to the calcium ions in the body. The staining can vary from light yellow to darker browns and purples, and banding and spotting are common. Some people may even notice that the edges of their teeth have a transparent appearance.
In the past, not much could be done for tetracycline staining. However, now there are more options than ever that can brighten tetracycline-stained teeth. If you have tooth discoloration from tetracycline, here are three options that can help improve your smile.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one option if you have teeth stained from tetracycline usage. It is non-invasive, and plenty of options are available both at the dentist's office and at home. You can wear custom trays every day in order to get the desired results at home, and you can find even faster results in-office.
Teeth whitening works by using a peroxide bleaching agent to remove both intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Tetracycline stains are intrinsic, which means they are deep within the teeth.
Results can vary, but today's bleaching solutions are far superior to past formulations. Modern teeth whitening techniques can remove even deep stains. For less extensive staining, teeth whitening is often the most economical option as well. Severe discoloration from tetracycline may require multiple whitening treatments.


Another option that you may want to consider for tetracycline-stained teeth is veneers. Veneers are thin shells made of either composite or porcelain that fit over the teeth. When applied to the teeth, veneers can change the color, shape and size of the teeth.
Veneers are a great option if you have tetracycline stains that do not respond to teeth whitening. They're also a great option if there are other things about your smile that you would like to address.
While veneers can be a great option for getting rid of tetracycline staining, there are a few downsides. Veneers can cost upwards of a thousand dollars per tooth. For those who have tetracycline stains on multiple teeth, veneers can quickly become very expensive. They also eventually require replacement, and the procedure itself can take a few weeks from start to finish.
However, depending on how bad the stains on your teeth are, veneers may still be worth it.

Dental Implants

Another option for getting a brighter smile is dental implants. Dental implants are composed of a titanium post that is placed in the jawline and that mimics a tooth root with a replacement tooth sitting on top. For teeth that have tetracycline stains that do not respond to other treatments, removing the tooth and replacing it with an implant may be the best way to get the desired results.
Dental implants, like veneers, can also be expensive. It can also take a few weeks to have the implant and the replacement tooth put into place.
Dental implants may seem like an extreme solution for tetracycline stains. However, the darkest of tetracycline stains can show through veneers and often will not respond at all to bleaching. Using dental implants can make a big difference, especially when the tetracycline stains are very dark.
If you have tetracycline stains that you would like to remove, there are options that can provide you with a brighter and whiter smile. Joseph M. Perry D.D.S. P.A. can help you come up with a plan to get rid of tetracycline stains. Call and make an appointment today.