Category Archives: Dental Bonding

Cosmetic Bonding Gone Wrong

I had four of my front teeth “repaired” with dental bonding. The front two teeth overlapped a little and the other two teeth he did to make sure everything matched. Here are my problems. First, he ground down the two teeth quite a bit and added a bunch of bonding, but the backs where he ground feel sharp and painful. Second, he used a yellow color even though I told him I wanted white. When I complained he said it was the only way to get all my teeth to match. I feel like my smile was prettier before he did this work. Can this be made to look good?


Dear Amelia,

Before and After Dental Bonding-

This can be made to look good, but I’m not certain that your dentist has the skills to make that happen. The fact that he needed to add bonding to extra teeth that didn’t “require” it in order to get the color to match, is one hint that he is in over his head. If you look at the image above, you can see that dental bonding is able to match a tooth even when doing small areas. In fact, that is what dental bonding is intended for–small repairs, such as chipped teeth or small tooth gaps.

I’m not quite sure I understand what you mean by the backs feeling sharp and painful. As you have to get this redone to look the way it should, the new dentist should be able to repair whatever you mean by that. Your dental work should never be painful.

As to the color. Why didn’t he just have you whiten your teeth with professional teeth whitening if you wanted white bonding but the adjacent teeth were more yellow? It is common to whiten teeth before any type of cosmetic work because most people want their teeth white when they get any type of smile makeover done.

Finding an Excellent Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty therefore any general dentist can technically call themselves a cosmetic dentist. To make matters even worse, smile makeovers are not taught in dental school. It is completely up to the dentist how much, if any, training he gets in doing cosmetic work.

Because of this issue, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) began an accreditation program to help dentists get the training they need and patients to know who has the expertise necessary. The best cosmetic dentists in the country are AACD accredited. I’d start there.

Dental Bonding or Porcelain Veneers

porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth
Porcelain veneer

As I mentioned earlier, dental bonding is meant for small repairs, like chips and gaps. It is not really as useful over large surfaces. Plus, it only lasts a few years. It’s one thing to replace a tiny section every few years, but whole surfaces of teeth will get very expensive quickly.

Because of that, don’t be surprised if whatever dentist you see suggests porcelain veneers to you. These are tiny wafers of porcelain that can be bonded to your teeth. They are more stain-resistant than dental bonding. In fact, they are even more stain-resistant than your natural teeth. When done well and cared for, they can last your lifetime.

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

Dental Bonding Won’t Stay On

I’m having some trouble with my dental bonding and need to know how to handle this. I have fluorosis stains and went to my dentist to have dental bonding done as a repair. I was not too thrilled with the results because you could still see the stains underneath and I paid for this so the stains wouldn’t show anymore. A few hours later the bonding fell off. I was rescheduled for a few days later and they re-did it. This time I asked them to cover the stains a little better. They made the bonding thicker, but again it fell off, this time a few days later. My dentist said I should not expect bonding to be permanent, but the way he talked about it at first it should last a few years, not a few days, especially for the cost. Is there a way I can get a refund? What is the best way for me to treat these stains?


Dear Marv,

I think I can help you here. First, for the benefit of those reading who may not know what fluorosis stains are, I’ll go over that briefly. Fluorosis stains happen when a child consumes too much fluoride while their teeth are still developing.

Mild Fluorosis Stains

Mild fluorosis stains manifest as white spots (pictured above). Sometimes there are just a few white spots and those patients may not feel there is any need for treatment. Though, if they are numerous it can give the teeth a mottled look which may make a patient want some form of treatment for them.

Heavier Fluorosis Stains

With the more severe fluorosis staining, you will see brown spots and patches develop (pictured directly above). I have yet to meet a patient who did not want this treated.

Treating Fluorosis Stains

You have a couple of options to improve the appearance of these teeth. The first is dental bonding. It can work when a dentist knows what they are doing. In general, fluorosis stains are superficial so the staining can be gently ground away and that structure replaced with the dental bonding. However, your dentist is in over his head. We’ll talk about how to get a refund and find the right dentist in just a moment. First, I want to talk about a second option you have.

Dental bonding does last for several years (again, when done right), but you may want sometime a bit more permanent. In that case, I would look at porcelain veneers. These are tiny wafers of porcelain that can fit over the front of your teeth. When well cared for they can last a lifetime.

Getting This Done Right

Often, when you want a refund for cosmetic work it is difficult to get simply because you don’t like the way it looks. It may seem crazy, but it works to your benefit that the bonding keeps falling off. A basic standard of dental care, whether it is cosmetic or not is that it actually stays on your teeth.

I would simply ask for a refund. If he says no, let him know you will be going to both the dental board and your insurance company. That should sober him up.

Once you secure your money, I want you to do a search for an AACD accredited dentist in your area. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country and will give you a stunning smile you will be proud to share.

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

Dental Bonding Doesn’t Match

I had a chipped tooth and had it repaired by my dentist but the color does not match at all. You can tell he added something onto the tooth for repair. I have a few questions. One, should I go back to the same dentist to have him re-do it? Two, if I do use the same dentist, should he charge me for the color? Finally, would I just be better off finding a different dentist who can make this look right?


Dear Susan,

Before and After Dental Bonding-

As you can see from the image above, dental bonding can look completely natural and you should not settle for anything less. Here is my advice. First, I would suggest giving your dentist one more chance at this. It may be a skill he’s been learning and we all have to develop new skills.

Dental bonding in particular is a difficult skill. It has to be done freehand. When you have him re-do it make sure he understands that if it doesn’t match this time, you would like a refund but you wanted to give him a chance to get it right.

As to your second question, no, you should not have to pay to have him repair the color. Part of what you paid for originally was dental bonding that blended with your natural tooth structure. He should understand that.

Finally, if it doesn’t work out or he does not even want to try again, that is when you should get your refund and go to a more experienced cosmetic dentist.

The best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited. Though, not every state will necessarily have an accredited dentist nearby. If you can’t find one, the dentists listed on are excellent as well.

By the way, if you want to whiten your teeth, the time to do it is now before you have the repair redone. I’d talk to your dentist about that as well. This way the bonding can match the whiter color. It will not whiten after it is bonded.

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

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?


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.

My Dental Bonding Turned Yellow

I had dental bonding placed on four front teeth. I was happy with finally having front teeth which didn’t looked so damaged and chipped. I tend to grind my teeth so that was a problem. I wanted to take care of them and started brushing with baking soda. I’ve only had them for less than a week and they’re already turning yellow. Did the baking soda have a chemical reaction with the bonding? Will teeth whitening fix them?


Dear Kelly,

before and after dental bonding

There are a couple of things going on here which are setting off warning bells in my head. First, is the care of your dental bonding. I’m concerned that your dentist didn’t seem to give you any post-operative care instructions for your bonded teeth. This could have prevented this issue.

While you had good intentions in trying to take good care of your bonded teeth, you weren’t instructed on how to do that. Unfortunately, baking soda is quite abrasive and will eventually wear off the protective polish on your bonded teeth. If you really want to take good care of them, I am going to suggest you switch to Supersmile Toothpaste after this is fixed. This is specifically designed to clean and protect cosmetic dental work. It’s perfect for natural teeth as well.

As for teeth whitening, it will not work on your dental bonding. It only works on natural tooth structure, which means your natural teeth will get whiter, but the bonded teeth will be unaffected. This will make them look worse, not better.

Because you’ve had them for such a short period of time and your dentist didn’t instruct you in their care, I suggest going back to your dentist and asking him to fix them at no charge. If he knows the polishing technique, he can do it that way. Otherwise, he’ll need to just re-do them.

A second possibility is that your dentist used inferior materials when he placed your bonding. I hope that is not true. The only way to know with certainty is after you have them fixed. If you are caring for them properly and they turn yellow again, it is his material.

I’m also providing a link here, which gives you a lot of information on dental bonding. If you scroll toward the bottom, it will tell you how to care for them.

Bruxism and Dental Bonding

Another thing which has me concerned is your teeth grinding. When you clench or grind your teeth it will lead to damage. You’ve experienced this yourself and it is why you had the bonding done in the first place. However, without addressing the cause of the damage, the bonding won’t hold up any better than your natural teeth did.

It doesn’t sound like your dentist has addressed this. There is a simple solution too. Have him fit you for a nightguard and your dental bonding, as well as the remainder of your teeth, will be protected. Without it, they’ll end up ground down to nubs and you’ll eventually need a full-mouth reconstruction.

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