I asked my dentist about improving my smile by covering my tetracycline stains. He said we’d need to do porcelain crowns because we’d need that thickness to cover the deep stains. I just wanted to get a second opinion before moving forward on this. Outside of their appearance from the staining, the teeth themselves are healthy. The idea of having to grind them makes me uncomfortable. Are dental crowns my best option for a beautiful smile?
I’m actually very glad you wrote. I think I can help prevent a disaster here. Tetracycline stains are among the most difficult cosmetic cases there are. It takes a great deal of skill and expertise. The restoration has to be made opaque enough to cover the stains, yet still, have a natural-looking translucency. This is not easy. The fact that your dentist is suggesting porcelain crowns, which unnecessarily grind away healthy tooth structure, tells me he is not up to the task.
Some cosmetic dentists will use the added thickness of dental crowns as a crutch to deal with the severity of the staining. It is not necessary with the right training and experience. I’m going to recommend you find a different cosmetic dentist to do this procedure.
What to Look for in Your Cosmetic Dentist
The first thing you’ll want to know is whether they suggest porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers. You’ll want one who suggests porcelain veneers. However, that isn’t enough. Anyone can say they can do beautiful porcelain veneers, but you want to make sure they actually do.
Ask to see before and after pictures of tetracycline cases they have personally done. Make sure they are pictures of their own work and not stock photos. A true cosmetic dentist would not be offended by such questions.
Your Bottom Arch
It is too expensive to have porcelain veneers placed on all your teeth, especially your bottom arch. Generally, we suggest you have teeth whitening done on those teeth in order to get the color close to what your top arch will be after the smile makeover.
Tetracycline stains are a bit tricky with this because the stains are so dark. The brand of whitening that seems to have the most success with these type of stains is Kor Whitening.
This blog is brought to you by San Antonio Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Imam.