What is tetracycline stain?

Tetracycline is an antibiotic. At the age of three, children have already developed tooth buds of the permanent teeth inside the jaw.  When tetracycline is given to children, this drug penetrates the developing tooth buds and incorporates itself into the tooth structure. When the teeth erupt into the mouth, the result is bands of dark stains with usually a combination of brown, gray, and yellow colors. These stains make up the actual colors of the teeth and are impossible to bleach completely into normal white teeth colors.

Note:  Once a tooth has erupted into the mouth and the root of that tooth has completely formed, tetracycline cannot affect that tooth.  It is also a misconception that all antibiotics will cause yellowing of teeth.

The human eyes are used to seeing the smile with white teeth.  Smiles with dark tetracycline teeth are not as esthetically pleasing as smiles with normal white shades of teeth.

Porcelain veneers done on tetracycline stained teeth are very difficult for many reasons.  A clinician has to mask out the dark colors underneath, and create at the same time the proper tooth form, contour, texture, and details of the edges of the natural tooth.

Here are the before and after photos of a case where I used porcelain veneers to enhance a severely tetracycline stained smile.  The after photo was taken two weeks after delivery.  The gum tissue will continue to heal and adapt to the new porcelain, and the colors of the porcelain teeth will become even more realistic after some time.  In this case the patient opted for a super white shade, yet with proper planning and execution we can still create a natural looking smile.

Images of actual patients of Alex Nguyen, DDS are Copyrighted and Digitally Embedded to track Unauthorized Use.

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Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.

Details in the Fabric - Fine Cosmetic Dentistry is All About the Details

Whether you like the shape of your teeth to be more square or more rounded, the key to a life-like porcelain restoration is the details of translucency layering, internal color structure, and reflection of light on the surface texture.  Visually, depth is perceived in the fabricated piece of porcelain when light penetrates the porcelain to the same degree that it will penetrate natural tooth structure.  Like a painter's canvas, the smile is my fabric.

Images of actual patients of Alex Nguyen, DDS are Copyrighted and Digitally Embedded to track Unauthorized Use.

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Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.

Cosmetic or Form Follows Function? Follow Up of a Full Mouth Bite Rehabilitation Case

Ta da ! ! ! This full mouth rehabilitation case restored this patient's smile with a combination of crowns, bridges, and veneers.

The important principles include:

1.  The patient's personal preferences

2.  The scientific foundation of the human dentition

3.  The art of modern porcelain materials and technique

Before:

After:

Images of actual patients of Alex Nguyen, DDS are Copyrighted and Digitally Embedded to track Unauthorized Use.

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Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.

Our Philosophy of Practice When It Comes to Cosmetic Dentistry

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrC7GuJKO44&feature=player_embedded] ........................................................................................

Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.

Do you like Lumineers?

I personally don't. The makers of Lumineers target the psychology that people do not want their tooth structure removed for porcelain veneers work.  With this technique, thin layers of opaque white porcelain pieces simply get bonded on top of the existing teeth; Very little to no tooth structure is removed.

Unfortunately, to make porcelain veneers look good, the ceramist really need to layer different shades of porcelain to create the life-like look of a real tooth.  Shade progression and translucency characteristics on a tooth must be present on the porcelain in order for the final result to look real.

Lumineers, being monochromatic in nature, cannot give you that realistic look.  Well...that only matters if you want your smile to look real.

When you consult with your cosmetic dentist, ask to see photos of actual cases that were done by the same dentist.  After a few consultations, you will have a better perception of good cosmetic dentistry versus bad cosmetic dentistry.

It is all about making a conscious informed decision.

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Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.