It might be hard to believe, but my dentist’s dental bonding job made my fluorosis stains look worse. The bonding color is uneven, the stains still show through, and the bonding is peeling off. On the day that I got the bonding, it fell off two teeth the same evening. I returned to my dentist to replace the bonding and told him that the color is off. He added another layer of bonding that fell off. Unfortunately, my dentist is implying that I must grind my teeth or have a habit that is weakening the bonding. He recommended that I wear a night guard. I tried it, but the bonding will not stay on. This situation is more stressful and embarrassing than my fluorosis stains. I know that bonding should not fall off, but is it unrealistic to expect it to stay on fluorosis-stained teeth? I am willing to try again with another dentist if my dentist gives me a refund. Thank you. Jade from OK
We are sorry to hear about your experience. It is frustrating when you are excited about a solution for your teeth, but the results make things worse. Without advanced cosmetic dentistry training, fluorosis stains can be challenging to conceal.
What Is Fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis is a condition that results from consuming too much fluoride as a child—while permanent teeth are still developing. Although fluorosis does not affect the health of your teeth, it can spot and discolor them. The stains are usually limited to the tooth enamel and do not affect the dentin (the layer beneath the enamel). See the Center for Disease Control’s website for guidelines on the use of fluoride supplements and toothpaste.
Types of Fluorosis Stains
Fluorosis stains can be mild, moderate, or severe.
- Mild fluorosis – White specks, spots, edges, or lines randomly appear on teeth. The stains may be limited or extensive.
- Moderate fluorosis – Moderate stains cover a wider area of your teeth. The stains are often brown.
- Severe fluorosis – Brown spots or streaks dominate your teeth. Fluorosis can make the tooth surface feel rough.
Concealing Fluorosis Stains
An expert cosmetic dentist can conceal fluorosis stains. After a thorough examination and x-rays, the dentist will let you know the results you can expect from dental bonding vs. porcelain veneers.
Most general or family dentists do not stock the tools and composites to achieve beautiful results. But a cosmetic dentist can get beautiful results with steps like these:
- Grind out the discoloration
- Bond high-quality composite to replicate your tooth enamel
- Apply a base layer that has some opacity
- Overlay the base with translucent composite
In recent years, advance dental technology introduced heated flowable composite that increases the accuracy and durability of bonding. And the results are beautiful.
Whiten Your Teeth Before Dental Bonding
If you want to whiten your teeth overall, ask your dentist for teeth whitening treatment before composite is applied. Afterward, your dentist will apply bonding that matches your whitened teeth.
Why Does Dental Bonding Fall Off?
Dental bonding falls off due to faulty technique. It requires specific steps to keep it intact:
- Etch, rinse, and dry the tooth enamel
- When fluorosis stains are severe, increase the etching time
- Apply a liquid bonding agent and cure it with a curing light
- Place composite over the cured bonding agent
Your dentist must ensure that your bonding is so firmly in place that the only way to remove it is by grinding it off. If your cosmetic dentist does bonding correctly, it will not fall off.
Asking Your Dentist for a Refund on Bad Bonding
You paid for a service that you did not receive. That is the basis for asking your dentist for a refund. Depending on your dentist’s response, you have these options:
- Reporting the issue to your dental insurance company
- Asking your new dentist for help in requesting a refund
- Filing a complaint with the state dental board
- Leaving negative online reviews
- Hiring an attorney
Schedule a Consultation
If you want your fluorosis stains concealed without anyone noticing your dental work, schedule a consultation with an advanced cosmetic dentist.
Rekha Reddy, DDS, of Dallas, TX, sponsors this post.