Maybe you want to straighten your teeth, but you are looking for a more discreet method like Invisalign®. These aligners have exploded in popularity because they are a less obvious way to correct misaligned teeth. Many people with alignment issues who were unsure about braces have now embraced Invisalign. You might be on the fence…
Does Teeth Whitening Work for Tetracycline Stain?
Teeth whitening treatments are effective on most types of stains besides those caused by tetracycline antibiotics, tooth decay or being overexposed to fluoride. There are whitening systems that are designed to help eliminate these types of stains, but the results of these treatments are difficult to predict.
How teeth whitening works
Teeth whitening involves using bleaching agents to lift stains and discoloration from teeth surfaces and their inner layers. The most common bleaching agents used in dentistry are hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen carbamide. These chemicals penetrate past teeth enamel and into the inner layers of teeth, whitening them as they react with the molecules of the stains.
The process usually includes using a custom mouth tray to apply the product to the patient's teeth and to prevent the product from getting into the gums. The patient bites down on the mouth tray and keeps it in place for about an hour before rinsing out their mouth. It is very effective on stains caused by aging, smoking or foods, but it is less effective on tetracycline stains.
The best way to find out if teeth whitening treatments will be effective on a particular type of stain is by having it evaluated by a dentist. The dentist will be able to determine if it is worth trying to whiten the affected teeth with bleaching agents.
Other teeth whitening options
People with tetracycline stains do not have to settle with discolored teeth simply because whitening treatments might not work. There are other options when it comes to whitening teeth and the most popular ones include:
- Composite bonding: This is done by applying a mixture of plastics and glass to the patient's teeth. The composite can be color-matched with the rest of the patient's teeth so any restorations made blend in. The stained teeth are prepared with an etching solution which allows the composite to stick to the teeth being treated. The composite is applied to the tooth and used to cover up any stains and discoloration on it. The dentist finishes up the treatment by hardening the composite with ultraviolet light and polishing the treated teeth.
- Veneers: These work a lot like fake fingernails. They are thin, tooth-shaped covers that are cemented to the front part of teeth hiding any issues. It is an effective way to cover up tetracycline stains and to restore the appearance of the patient's smile. Veneers are only effective when most of the stains and discoloration are on the front part of the patient's teeth.
- Crowns: Dental crowns cover a tooth completely and they hide any deformities or stains on it. Crowns also provide therapeutic benefits as they protect the tooth from acids and oral bacterial in the mouth and restore its function. Crowns can be matched with the color, shape and size of the patient's teeth creating a natural look.
Get rid of your tetracycline stains
Call or visit our Hackensack clinic to find out if the stains on your teeth can be removed with whitening treatments or if you are better off exploring your other options.
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