Hi Dr. Hall
I’m wondering if your recommendations on here are also good for children? My daughter is 11, she fell and broke off the majority of her 2 front teeth. Only a little bit of the top and sides were remaining, the whole front/middle was gone. I took her to her general dentist and he said he needed to fill the whole with bonding, and it looks terrible. It’s so lumpy, and myself and my daughter are devastated. The teeth with bonding are lumpy, short, and uneven. I don’t want her to go through life like this at 11 years old, so reaching out to you to see if the cosmetic dentist that you recommend in your list are also good options for children or if you have any other recommendations of anyone that would be able to help us.
Thank you for your time.
– Jessica from Phoenix
I found your website searching for: Can bad dental bonding be fixed?
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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It sounds like your dentist had the right idea, fixing this with bonding, but just didn’t have the skill to make it look like real teeth. Doing cosmetic bonding, especially with a large part of the tooth missing, requires artistic ability. This type of case is actually one of the cases required for the accreditation examination of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, because of the artistic skill required. Most dentists come to the profession with an engineering mindset and aren’t really artistically inclined.
As long as your daughter is able to cooperate with dental care and sit still while the dentist does this work, I believe that any of our expert cosmetic dentists would have no problem doing this procedure for her. Some dentists enjoy seeing children of all ages, others don’t. Where dentists who don’t like seeing children draw the line is with very young children who may fuss over a dental appointment or have any level of difficulty cooperating with the dentist’s instructions. That doesn’t look like that would apply for your daughter.
I’m glad that your dentist didn’t recommend placing crowns on your daughter’s front teeth. Many dentists would try to get you to agree to complete crowns, which would free them from the artistic work of doing cosmetic bonding. There are two significant problems with putting a crown on the front tooth of an 11-year-old:
- One is that the pulp of the front tooth of an 11-year-old is very large. As we age, the pulp shrinks, but at the age of 11, it can be quite close to the surface. Doing a crown on a front tooth that young could easily kill the pulp of the tooth, complicating the treatment by requiring a root canal treatment followed by some kind of post before the crown is placed.
- Another is that the tooth is likely to erupt further as your daughter gets older, which would end up exposing the margin between the crown and the tooth, impairing the aesthetics of the case and making it obvious that the tooth has a crown.
So my recommendation would be to go to one of our expert cosmetic dentists and have them do the bonding on your daughter’s teeth. Done right, they will end up looking totally natural and no one will know that she has had work done. I would not go to a pediatric dentist, who is likely to have little training and very little inclination to do beautiful cosmetic dentistry.
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