Tooth bonding isn’t appropriate in every situation, but it can be a quick and relatively inexpensive way to improve your smile. And feeling good about the appearance of your teeth can help you maintain good dental health.
However, there are some instances when it doesn’t quite workout as it’s supposed to. For example:
You were unhappy with small cracks and stains marring your smile, so your dentist suggested bonding to quickly fix the flaws. A few weeks later, you are horrified by the unnatural, bulky restorations ruining your teeth. Bonding seemed like an easy cosmetic solution – so how did it go so wrong?
Unfortunately, in inexperienced hands, direct dental bonding can create more problems than it fixes. Poor execution and technique can permanently damage teeth and attractiveness.
Here are mistakes that lead to bonding nightmares.
How Bonding can Ruin your Teeth
Over-Grinding Healthy Tooth Structure
Excessively grinding down surrounding enamel to “make room” for bonding material weakens intact tooth structure. This permanent removal of healthy enamel also means no going back if you later dislike the bonding result.
Not properly isolating the teeth with dental dams allows saliva and blood to contaminate surfaces. Bonding materials cannot adhere to moist teeth, causing quick failure with gaps, looseness, and decay risk.
Applying Bonding Too Thick
Building up bonding material too thickly looks bulky and artificial. It also leads to rapid wear and fracture. A thin bonding layer better preserves natural appearance and longevity.
Poor Shade Matching
Selecting composite resin that is too opaque, too white, or mismatched from surrounding teeth appears glaringly artificial. Proper shade selection is critical for natural blending.
Rushed Curing and Contouring
Taking time with careful layering, sculpting, and curing ensures a smooth finish. Rushing through this artistic process creates uneven, misshapen restorations.
Lack of Proper Polishing
Insufficient polishing of the cured bonding leaves a rough surface prone to rapid staining and accumulation of bacteria and plaque. A high-shine polish finish is ideal.
Not Checking Occlusion
Failing to have the patient bite down post-bonding means poor contacts, crowding, or bites out of alignment may go unnoticed. This leads to pain and new problems.
Poor Oral Hygiene Practices
Bonding demands vigilant daily cleaning to prevent decay around restoration margins. Lax hygiene leads to unsightly damage.
Correction Options for a Ruined Bonding Smile
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your dental bonding, do not simply live with the mistake.
There are solutions for correcting bonding gone awry:
The dentist can use rotary instruments and polishing tools to carefully contour and remove excess “bulky” areas of the bonding material. This evens out the restoration and makes it look more natural.
Over time, bonding can become rough or stained. Your dentist can smooth away micro-roughened areas and apply new high-shine polishing to restore a glassy, light-reflective surface. This removes stains and improves aesthetics.
If feasible, the dentist may be able to alter the shade of the bonding by applying concentrated stains or tints followed by re-polishing and sealing. This may better integrate the color with surrounding teeth.
4. Partial replacement:
If only certain sections of the bonding have failed or are problematic, the dentist can selectively drill out and replace those portions only. This is more conservative than total replacement.
5. Total replacement:
For extensive issues or major aesthetic problems, it may be best to safely remove all bonding and start fresh with new, properly contoured and shaded restorations.
The key is addressing bonding you are unhappy with promptly, before underlying tooth structure is compromised. An experienced cosmetic dentist can troubleshoot the best option tailored to your individual case. Don’t settle for unpleasant dental work – correction is possible!
Tips for Optimal Bonding Results
As a patient, you can also take steps to achieve bonding success:
- Realistically assess if you are a good candidate based on oral health and goals. Bonding has limits on color change and alignment fixes.
- Clearly communicate your aesthetic objectives so the dentist understands the desired outcome.
- Ask questions about the dentist’s bonding technique, materials, experience and patient results.
- Follow all home care instructions diligently, including avoiding biting on hard foods that stress bondings.
- Return promptly if you notice any problems like cracking, staining, or loosening to allow quick repair.
While no restoration is entirely risk-free, carefully vetting your dentist, examining examples from their portfolio, asking the right questions, following care instructions, and maintaining diligent oral hygiene helps minimize bonding problems.
However, if you do find yourself saying “my bonding ruined my teeth,” seek a second opinion on correction options. With expertise and patience, your smile goals can be achieved!