I have tetracycline stains which I want to fix. I’m thinking about porcelain veneers, but the price is through the roof. That makes me want to ask a couple of things. One, is this even a viable solution for this type of problem? I don’t want to spend money on something if it can’t fix it. Two, is there a way to get affordable cosmetic dentistry? One way I thought of was to go to a dental school. What do you think?
To cover tetracycline stains, porcelain veneers are the go-to procedure. So, you are on the right track with what will fix it. However, the who should do it is way off. This type of case is among the most difficult. Because of that, you really need an expert cosmetic dentist.
Dental schools only teach general dentistry. There is little (if any) instruction on cosmetic work, especially when it comes to artistry and color theory. All of that must be studied post-doctoral work. If you went to a dental school to have it done, it would likely even be the instructor’s first tetracycline case and would end up a disaster.
Why Tetracycline Cases are So Tricky
To successfully cover these type of stains requires the porcelain veneers to be opaque enough to mask them, yet still have the translucent look of natural tooth structure. This isn’t easy to pull off and only the best of the best cosmetic dentists can do it.
Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist
I wouldn’t look at anything but an AACD accredited dentist for something like this. When it comes to finding dentists who are skilled in cosmetic work, patients used to hung out to dry, stuck doing research on individual dentists without even knowing what type of research they needed to do.
Because of that, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) began an accreditation program. This thoroughly vets dentists. They have to pass stringent oral and written exams on the technical procedures involved in cosmetic work. If they pass those, they then have to demonstrate their artistry submitting a large number of specific cases they’ve personally done within a certain time period.
Only then can they be accredited. Any one of their accredited dentists can not only cover your stains, but give you a stunning smile at the same time. You can find one in your area by doing a search on aacd.com.
However, as you noted in your question, it doesn’t come cheap. Believe me when I tell you it is much better to do nothing at all than to get cheap cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Doan has had to fix many cosmetic horror stories from patients who have come to him after their family dentist totally botched their smile makeover.
In reality, you have three choices:
- Do nothing and leave your smile as is.
- Do nothing (for now) and save up for it to be done correctly
- Get Kör Whitening while you save up.
Kör Whitening won’t take away the stains, but it lightens them slightly (much more than other teeth whitening methods). This may take the edge off your smile while you save up for the big fix.
I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by La Jolla Dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.