Category Archives: Dental Bonding

Is dental bonding reversible?

I had some dental bonding done on a front tooth, but I am unhappy with it. Is there a way I can have my dentist take it off and re-do it?

Bethany- Kansas City

Bethany,

Yes, dental bonding is easy to have removed. It just requires a special sandpaper that takes it right down to the tooth. I wouldn’t recommend having the same dentist re-do it. Chances are if you were unhappy the first time, you’ll  be unhappy again. Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty, so there are large varieties of both qualifications and artistic skill when it comes to dentists who do cosmetic procedures. I’d look for someone who is AACD accredited (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry). Any dentist with accredited status with this organization will have the highest level of skill when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. It’s better to pay a little more for someone more qualified and only have to do it once, then to have to re-do it several times.

This blog is sponsored by Grosse Pointe Woods Cometic dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

Bleaching bonding

I wonder if you can help me. Two of my front teeth have dental bonding on them that are about 15 years old. I know it is time to get them replaced, but my finances aren’t that great right now. I know that you cannot make dental bonding any whiter by bleaching them, but can you whiten them back to their original color?

Daniel M.- New Jersey

Daniel,

No teeth whitening method will make your dental bonding any whiter. In fact, it will only make them look worse because  your natural teeth will get whitened from the bleaching. If your discoloration is from external stains instead of inside the bonding material, it is possible the discoloration could be polished away. Be sure you get an expert cosmetic dentist to do this, otherwise you could end up with a disaster.

If, however, the stains are internal, polishing won’t help. They will have to be replaced. With your finances currently not where you want them for replacement, my recommendation will be to leave it as is and wait until you can afford to get them replaced. Don’t look for a bargain by finding an “affordable” cosmetic dentist. As with the polishing, be sure you get them done by a highly qualified cosmetic dentist. If you want it done right, and with it being your front teeth that is even more important, you need someone with an artistic touch. To find a great cosmetic dentist in your area, you can check on mynewsmile.com. They screen cosmetic dentists from each state checking both their educational qualifications as well as their artistic expertise with their cosmetic work.

This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods cosmetic dentist Dr. Ted Hadgis.

One tooth is getting dark – what are my options?

Many years ago, I fell and chipped a tooth. The dentist did a small filling to repair it, but over the ensuing years, it has darkened quite a bit.

I’ve talked to my regular dentist about this but she does not really seem to have any solutions to offer me. She is reluctant to do a porcelain crown because the canal has calcified as a result of the tooth being dead. I suggested Lumineers as a solution, but she said she was sure I would be unhappy with those, because there have been “problems” with them.

In the meantime, it seems like my tooth is getting darker every time I look at it, and I am getting kind of embarassed to smile, which frankly stinks. Do you have any suggestions? I am really not sure at all where to turn next.

Dulcie in Sante Fe

Dear Dulcie,

It really sounds as if your dentist is not comfortable with cosmetic dentistry procedures. If there is one hard and fast rule about dentistry, it is to never push your dentist to perform a procedure he is not comfortable with. The results are almost never good. The good news is that your dentist seems to be sending you the message loud and clear that she is not comfortable with doing either a porcelain crown or porcelain veneer (Lumineers are a brand name of porcelain veneers), so this opens the door for you to seek help from a truly gifted, trained cosmetic dentist.

If you choose the right dentist, they will help you choose the right treatment. If the only problem you have with your smile is that one tooth, then it may be possible that a skilled bit of dental bonding will take care of the problem. If there are other issues, then porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers may be in order. In any case, the most important task you have in front of you is to locate a dentist who has the artistic skills and experience to offer you all of these options.

This blog maintained by the office of Grosse Pointe Woods cosmetic dentist Dr. Hadgis as a courtesy.

My daughter’s teeth have severe decay

I’ve been trying to gather information about dental care for very young children, and your blog seems to be well informed. My daughter is four years old, and to date has not really had a true dental appointment. I’ve taken her to several different dentists, but she refuses to open her mouth for any of them. My first question is whether you think a pediatric dentist would have better luck than a general dentist, or if I will have to think about letting them sedate her, as the last dentist suggested. I hate the idea of sedation, but things are getting critical.

She lets me look in her mouth occasionally. I can see four teeth on the top that have cavities, and two of them look really deep. I don’t see anything really worrisome on the bottom teeth yet, but have not had a really good look at those in a while. The two teeth on top that are really bad have started to chip away, and that brings me to my second question–can anything be done to salvage those teeth? From the reading I have done, I know that if those teeth are pulled, it could mess up the alignment of her teeth permanently, even though they are baby teeth. I’ve been reading about porcelain crowns and white fillings, and both of those sound like good options, if they will work with really damaged teeth. I don’t want her to feel self conscious if we have to do some kind of metal filling or crown.

I know you can’t make a definitive diagnosis just from my descriptions, but any information you can offer would be great.

Thanks,

Doreen in Tallahassee

Dear Doreen,

We recommend locating a pediatric dentist that has experience with sedation dentistry. That way, if your daughter can’t be persuaded to open her mouth, you can have a “Plan B” in place to get her the dental care she needs.

You are absolutely right that the best course of action would be to salvage those decayed teeth. If they cannot be saved, she will need some kind of space maintainers so her permanent molars do not drift forward, which would be expensive to fix down the road. Because these are baby teeth, your dentist will recommend a temporary fix kind of solution, such as a stainless steel crown. This will not look nice, as you point out, but if you are willing to pay for a porcelain crown that will only last a few years, your dentist will certainly place it. If the decay is not too widespread, your dentist might also be able to use white fillings or direct dental bonding to protect the remaining tooth structure. The best advice I can give you in this matter is to listen carefully to what the dentist recommends, and make your decision from the options presented. It is usually a bad idea to push a dentist into doing a treatment that they don’t feel comfortable with.

Another matter that must be addressed is how your daughter’s teeth wound up with this level of decay. The kind of decay you describe has to be fed continuously, all day, every day. Unless you want to face this situation again and again, you’ll need to change the way your daughter eats. She should only eat every three or four hours, and she should be brushing or at least rinsing with water every single time she eats.

Delay fixing my daughter’s broken tooth?

Yesterday afternoon my daughter fell into the railing of a boat and smashed her mouth. One of her front teeth is broken completely off, and the other has a diagonal crack in it. When I took her into the dentist this morning, he said that he will not have room in his schedule to fix it for at least another three weeks! He says that the root of her tooth needs time to heal and get less sensitive, so we would have to wait anyway.

Is this standard procedure in cases like this? I’ve never heard of having to wait this long to get a tooth fixed, and want to try and find a different dentist. We were able to save the piece of the tooth that broke off, and it seems to me that we should have that put back in place as soon as possible.  My husband wants to wait like our dentist says, but is open to a second opinion. What should we do?

Shannon in Missouri

Dear Shannon,

There is no medical reason to wait. And yes, you should have that piece of her tooth put back in place as soon as you can. You should seek the services of an expert cosmetic dentist to complete these procedures. This is a challenging situation cosmetically, and you want both teeth to look good and to match each other.

You don’t say how old your daughter is, and that will help determine her treatment. If she is younger, the dentist may use dental bonding until her teeth are fully erupted. If she is older, he may chose to use dental crowns to protect the remaining tooth structure.

Why won’t these brown spots respond to treatment?

Even though I have always been really careful to take good care of my teeth, my front two teeth have always been ugly and discolored. They were OK before I lost my baby teeth, but my adult teeth came in with these brown stains that I just cannot get rid of.

I recently graduated from college, and am starting to interview for my first professional position. I feel like my teeth are really holding me back. They create an impression that I am careless, and I am any but that!

Under the care of my dentist, I have tried every kind of over-the-counter whitening product there is. This just seems to be making the situation worse. The teeth around the spots get whiter, but that makes the spots themselves look even darker. At my last visit, I told my dentist that I am really frustrated with our lack of progress, and he suggested what he called “an experiment”, where he would grind away the front of my tooth to remove the discoloration. The only thing is, he doesn’t know how much he might have to grind off! I have an appointment, but the more I think about this plan the worse it sounds.

Does this sound like a normal course of treatment? We’ve never tried professional whitening with the laser–would that be better?

I could really use some advice. Thanks in advance.

Vanessa in Shreveport

Dear Vanessa,

Do not keep that appointment to let your dentist conduct his “experiment”. He does not seem to understand whitening, and his attempts to manually remove the stains could do a great deal of damage to your teeth. It is also very unlikely that professional whitening will produce any better results than the over-the-counter products.

I strongly recommend that you find a skilled, trained cosmetic dentist to help you determine the best course of treatment. Depending on the type and severity of the stains on your teeth, there is a small chance that a procedure called microabrasion could work to remove the stains. Generally, only the most superficial brown stains can be removed with microabrasion, but it is a possibility worth discussing with a qualified, experienced cosmetic dentist.

You are likely looking at porcelain veneers or direct dental bonding to address the issue. Both of these procedures are beyond the skill sets of most dentists, so it is very important for you to chose the right dentist to help you.

Best of luck to you in your new profession.

Can dental bonding be removed or reversed?

I need to find out if my teeth will be damaged if I have some bonding work removed. I asked my regular dentist to fix the gap in my front teeth a couple of weeks ago, and I am so not happy with the results! My dentist did not seem very happy when I asked him to use bonding to fix the gap in my teeth, but I did a lot of research and it seemed like the best solution to my problem. In addition to the gap, my front teeth are also chipped in the the shape of a “v”.

After the procedure, there is still a gap in my teeth, and I can actually see places where the bonding material is easily distinguishable from the natural structure of my teeth. This is not at all what the examples I saw on the web looked like! I need to find a new dentist, but first I need to know if they can take off what was done or not.

Thanks for your help,

Kyra in East Lansing

Dear Kyra,

Good news – tooth bonding is reversible. A special sandpaper can be used to remove the bonding material and restore your teeth to their previous state. Any dentist would have this sandpaper available, and the procedure is not difficult or painful.

I would strongly recommend going to an expert cosmetic dentist when you are ready to have this procedure re-done. It is likely that dental bonding will work very well for you to fix the gap and chip, but freehand dental bonding is an extremely challenging dental procedure.

If dental bonding is done by an artistic, skilled individual, the results can be really beautiful, and completely undetectable. You are absolutely right that you should not in any way be able to see where your natural teeth end and the bonding material begins.