I have some serious tetracycline stains on my front teeth and finally decided to do something about it. My dentist said that crowns would be best, but after having eight done (and re-done twice), I’m pretty much convinced he has no idea what he is doing. He replaced the first set because they looked yellow and their shape just didn’t look right. The second set was better, but the color was still off and they were too opaque. This last time he went back to the lab and had them blend in some translucent color in hopes they would look more natural. Unfortunately, when I got home and looked in the mirror, all I could see was gray streaks and spots. I’m thinking I should have just left my teeth the way they were. I have no idea what to now…any advice? — Kim
As you’ve probably discovered, tetracycline stains are some of the hardest to mask and most dentists are clueless when it comes to treating them. And unfortunately, it sounds like your dentist falls into that category. In fact, he probably had no experience with tetracycline stains (and neither did his lab) and the result was a complete disaster.
What your dentist should have recommended was porcelain veneers. Rather than grinding down your teeth, all that is required with veneers is shaving a little bit off the front of each tooth. And while porcelain veneers are the standard, there’s a fine balance that needs to be achieved to block out the stain and still get a natural look. If not done correctly, one of two things can happen: 1) the teeth will look gray from the stain showing through or 2) your smile will look like a porcelain sink.
Your first step in trying to get this corrected is to find a skilled cosmetic dentist in your area who can take a look. Then, you should pursue getting a full refund from your dentist and start completely over. Just be sure you find a cosmetic dentist who has experience with tetracycline stains to assure the best results possible.