Theriot Family Dental

Gray Teeth and Cannot Afford Porcelain Veneers

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I have gray teeth because of medication I took when I was a child. I had bonding done years ago, but it has started showing its age. I didn’t actually expect it to last this long, but am glad it did. The problem I have now is the economy took a toll on my business and I cannot afford to get porcelain veneers. Is there a way for me to fix this without porcelain veneers? The bonding was almost as expensive as veneers so I’m not terribly keen on doing that again.


Dear Pamela,

teeth whitening trays
Teeth Whitening Trays

What you are dealing with is known as tetracycline stains. When taken during the developmental phase of someone’s teeth, it ends up permanently staining them. This are difficult to treat, so even when you do get your porcelain veneers, do not go to your average dentist. It will require an expert cosmetic dentist.

While porcelain veneers are the best treatment for this, I completely understand the situation you are in. This economy has put quite a few people out of business and make it challenging for average families to cover their basic expenses. In the meantime, as long as your dental bonding was placed on top of intact enamel, you have a solution that can make a big difference while you save up for your porcelain veneers.

The composite material on the dental bonding can be removed with sandpaper disks. I don’t know where you live, but in some states, a dental hygienist is allowed to do this, which will lower your fee even further. Once the bonding is removed, your next step will be teeth whitening. You will want the take-home tray whitening. You’ll have to use it for several months but, if you’re persistent, it will significantly improve the appearance of your teeth. They won’t be porcelain veneers stunning, but they will be much whiter and you won’t be embarrassed to smile.

Make sure you do not use over-the-counter whitening trays. They are not nearly strong enough and you’d just be throwing your money out the window. I also do not recommend you use Zoom Whitening or Laser Tooth Whitening. While it is true they are stronger than tray whitening you would still need quite a few treatments and the expense would rack up quickly. It’s not worth it. Your most affordable option is the tray whitening.

You do not have to go to an expert cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening. Any dentist can do that and it is a pretty basic procedure. In fact, it is basic enough that you can price shop and just find the most affordable dentist in your area that offers take home teeth whitening.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. John Theriot.