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Tetracycline plus teeth equal gray smile

Many adults over age 35 cover their mouth to avoid smiling in public in order to hide their teeth darkened by tetracycline stains. Typically, invasive as well as costly treatment options, such as veneers, crowns and bonding, served as the only treatment options to help these individuals hide such stains and boost their self-esteem.

However, Kim L. Capehart, DDS, MBA, AGD member and clinician, will explain how a new tooth whitening procedure he used on a patient helped significantly lighten these tough-to-remove stains and saved his patient more than $10,000 in dental restorative fees. He'll share this information during his discussion titled "Treating Tetracycline Staining in the Adult Dentition" to be presented at the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) 54th Annual Meeting & Exposition in Denver, August 2-6, 2006. For patients, this means that AGD members that attend this course will offer them the latest in dental health technology, knowledge and treatment.

Tetracycline is a powerful antibiotic that kills a wide array of bacteria. Many women, prior to 1980, may have take this antibiotic during their pregnancy. When teeth are forming in utero, the drug becomes calcified in the dental and enamel of the child's teeth and creates a permanent dark and deep gray or brown stain over the entire tooth. Other stains appear in a pattern of horizontal stripes of varying intensity. Also, during the same time period (before1980) many children may have been given the drug and had the same stains. Often dentists can tell if a child had a high fever, just by looking at the stain pattern on their patient's teeth. In the 1950s, tetracycline stains reached widespread levels because so many doctors prescribed this drug.

Since the stain is embedded deep into the tooth, different restorative materials have to be used to completely cover up the effects of tetracycline. These materials, such as veneers and crowns, have to be placed across all the teeth th
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Source:Academy of General Dentistry


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