I have had dental bonding on my two front teeth since I was in high school. Well, without giving away my age, let’s just say they the bonding work is probably close to 15 years old. I haven’t seen a dentist in awhile and lately I’m noticing that it is very discolored. Am I understanding correctly that the bonding needs to be whitened with bleaching agents? Will this approach return the bonding to its original look? I was going to go get some whitening strips, but wanted to make sure I don’t mess it up.
-Bill in Florida
Teeth bleaching will not successfully whiten your dental bonding. In fact, it will probably end up looking a lot worse. The composite bonding material will not whiten because it is not natural tooth material. The surrounding teeth will lighten from tooth bleaching and the bonding will remain the same. Therefore, your front teeth will stand out worse than it already does.
If you went into an experienced cosmetic dentist, it is possible that the appearance of the bonding may be improved with some polishing. But that all depends on whether or not the discoloration stems from external surface staining or if it is internal. The polish will only work on the external stains.
The other option that will give you the results you are after is to have the tooth bonding redone. But don’t just go to any dentist for this type of work. Cosmetic dentistry, especially work that will be so highly visible, should be done by an expert cosmetic dentist. Many dentists will claim to do bonding, but they don’t have the ability or artistic inclinations to do beautiful, natural-looking work.
To sum it up, skip the teeth whitening. Go straight to an excellent cosmetic dentist in your area for a consultation. Thank you for your question.