I had fifteen teeth bonded. the bonding wasn’t done for merely cosmetic reasons. They were done to cover up areas where my gumline has moved and exposed some of my teeth, making them very sensitive. Before I had this done, I always received compliments on how white my smile was. Now, I never get compliments. The teeth look a tawny opaque color and feel rough, which isn’t very comfortable. Is there a way these can be re-done or will it damage my teeth?
I am very sorry you are facing this. Normally, I recommend an expert cosmetic dentist when it comes to any type of cosmetic dental work because it takes some specialized knowledge not gained during dental school. Unfortunately, there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry. Because of that, it is up to the dentist to invest in the training needed to be truly skilled. This puts patients in a bit of a quandary though. How can they know who has gotten the training and who hasn’t? I’ll give you two resources for this shortly. First, I want to go over fixing this.
It sounds like you are dealing with abfraction lesions. For the benefit of those who may not know what those are, I have posted a picture to the left. It used to be we thought this happened because a patient brushed too hard, wearing away their gumline. However, recent research seems to indicate it may have more to do with bruxism (the clenching and grinding of your teeth).
It is important your dentist knows this, because it will impact which materials he uses to repair the dental bonding. Bruxism will flex the tooth at the gumline. With this in mind, if your dentist doesn’t use the correct materials it could lead to the bonding popping out. He or she will want to use a softer, more flexible material so it has some give.
Replacing your bonding will not damage your teeth if the dentist does it properly. It is fairly easy to tell the difference between where the bonding ends and the tooth begins. This is especially true when there is a strong difference in color, as is the case with your dental bonding. Even if the color is the same, there are diamond burs that will make it safe to remove.
Finding a Dentist Who Can Do Dental Bonding Well
Both porcelain veneers and dental bonding require some expertise. Bonding is done freehand, so it can be a bit harder than other procedures. As I mentioned earlier, without a recognized specialty it can be a bit tricky. Fortunately, there are resources to help you know if you are in good hands.
Your first resource is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They have an accreditation program which includes rigorous exams as well as requiring the dentist to provide visual evidence on a large number of cases in order to prove they have artistry on top of technical knowledge. AACD accredited dentists are the best cosmetic dentists in the country.
A second option is to look on mynewsmile.com. This site is run by a retired AACD accredited dentist. He prescreens every dentist who wants to be listed for both their artistry and their technical knowledge and skill. If he recommends them, you are in good hands.
Best of luck to you.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.