Why didn’t My Bonding Whiten?

I had dental bonding done several years ago. They started picking up stains. The dentist who did my work retired and sold his practice to someone just out of dental school. The dentist suggested we whiten them but that didn’t work. They actually look worse. Now he is talking about re-doing the bonding. I know this sounds petty, but I’m worried if he can’t get teeth whitening right he won’t get the bonding right. What do you recommend I do?

Patty

Dear Patty,

You are right to be concerned. I am not going to recommend that you have this dentist re-do your dental bonding. However, it wasn’t as much that he did the teeth whitening incorrectly as it is that he doesn’t understand how teeth whitening works.

The reason your dental bonding looked worse after he did the teeth whitening is the gel will only work on natural tooth structure. That means your natural teeth whitened, but your dental bonding did not. This is a basic principle of teeth whitening.

So, while your dentist did not do the teeth whitening wrong. he doesn’t understand the easiest of cosmetic principles. Dental bonding on the other hand is one of the most advanced cosmetic procedures a dentist has to do.

He’ll have to blend different textures, colors, and translucencies. He likely doesn’t even have enough of these in supply to do the job well. In addition, it will all have to be done freehand.

Here is my suggestion. I’d like you to look for an AACD accredited dentist. These are the top 1-3% of cosmetic dentists in the country. They will have the training, skill, and artistry to do this not just well, but beautifully.

They would have suggested you whiten first, if you want to whiten at all. This is because (as you’ve learned) the bonding color is permanent so it is better to whiten first so you can match the bonding to the color you want to stick with. You’ve already whitened, so that is one step completed.

Next, you will get the bonding done by someone who knows what they are doing.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.
Click here to learn about Porcelain Veneers.

Did My Dentist Give Me TMJ?

I am concerned that something happened during my dental procedure which could have given me TMJ Disorder. I had my upper arch worked on with two dental crowns and eight porcelain veneers. While they look great, my jaw hurts like mad. I called the office to see what to do and they just suggested I take Advil. It’s been three days. Should this still be happening or is there something more serious going on? I’ve read that you can get TMJ with this type of dental work if it isn’t done right.

Avery

Dear Avery,

With the extent of dental work you had done, it is fairly normal for your jaw to feel achy, even for several days. Your jaw had to be propped open for quite a while. Advil is a good choice because it has an anti-inflammatory. You could also put some warm towels on your jaw. Other than that, it will just be a matter of rest and time.

When you are talking about TMJ developing from dental work, it would be a matter of the dentist doing the work incorrectly in a way that threw off your bite. That does not appear to be what you have going on.

Often when we see this happen it is when a dentist had one side of the bite that is occluding before the other, or if they opened your bite too much. You would notice if that were happening. The pain would not just be an ache. You would likely also develop some speech difficulties because your bite was now misaligned.

My advice is take the Advil and give it an other week. If it is still bothering you, go in and have your dentist examine that the teeth are meeting together properly.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Dental Implants and HOckey Players

My son is a hockey player. Most of his teammates have lost teeth but he’d been lucky up until last month when he had a tooth knocked out. We’d arranged for him to get a dental implant and have already had the implant placed. Now his teammates are telling him a dental implant is a bad idea in case he gets hit in the same place again. So, what should we do? I don’t want to leave him with a gap there.

Elle

Dear Elle,

hockey player with a tooth knocked out

That is interesting hearing what his teammates have said, but it makes sense. Your tooth has give. A dental implant is bonded. If the implant crown was knocked out, it would take some to the bone and possibly some jaw with it. That would require reconstructive surgery.

My suggestion is you leave that implant in. It will be good for his bone retention. However, you do not want to have the crown bonded on until he is done playing hockey.

Instead, I will suggest that he gets a temporary tooth replacement, such as a removable partial denture or a dental flipper. Either of these will give him a tooth while keeping him from damage to his jaw.

If he loses other teeth, I’d follow the same porcedure. Get the implant, use a temporary tooth replacement. Don’t just get the flipper without the implant.

When teeth are lost, your body recognizes that and in an effort to be as efficient as possible with its resources will begin to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body. This causes the jawbone to slowly shrink. People who wear dentures end up with facial collapse as a result.

Dental implants are how you prevent that. The implant serves as a prosthetic root and signals to your body that you have a tooth there and it leaves your bone intact.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.