Hi Dr. Hall.
I had my two front teeth bonded three weeks ago and they’re already stained. I think that’s because I drank coffee, tea and diet Coke. But the dentist never told me to stay away from these drinks! So I got Supersmile toothpaste.
I have two questions, if I may
1) Do I really have to stay away from coffee, tea and diet coke for the rest of my life ?? How depressing!!
2) Or will Supersmile allow me to continue these drinks and “stop” stains from attaching?
Thanks for your reply,
Selma from California
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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While dental bonding is vulnerable to staining over time, it shouldn’t be getting stained within the first few weeks of getting done. I suspect that your dentist was a basic family dentist who doesn’t know much about cosmetic dentistry. Let me explain why I think you are having severe staining problems with your bonding.
Dental bonding is done with composite. Composite is a blend of a plastic resin with inorganic fillers. There are a wide variety of fillers used, including silica, quartz, and glass, and they are in particles of different sizes. The results are composites with a variety of properties. Some, such as hybrid composites, are stronger, but, because of the size of the particles, they cannot be polished to a high shine. Microfills, which have extremely small particles, aren’t as strong, but they can be polished to a very high luster, much like human enamel. They are sometimes called high-gloss composites. Newer nanofill composites claim to provide a combination of high strength and high polishability.
Most family dentists will tend to stock a composite that will be a general purpose material, which tends to be a high-strength material such as a hybrid composite. Expert cosmetic dentists will tend to stock a wide variety of composites. When they are doing esthetic bonding on front teeth, they will use a stronger composite, such as a hybrid, for the interior of the restoration. Then they will apply a microfill to the surface to get a high luster. Also, they will use various shades and translucencies of materials to mimic the appearance of natural teeth, which are composed of a more opaque dentin overlaid with a more translucent enamel, and a gradation of color.
My guess is that your dentist used a material that couldn’t be polished to a high shine. Or maybe he or she used a polishable material but didn’t take the time or didn’t have the polishing equipment to be able to give it a high shine.
My advice is to go back to your dentist, share what I have told you here, and see if he or she can repair your bonding and give it a high polish that will resist staining. If he or she can’t, you’ll need to find an expert cosmetic dentist who can do that for you. If the bonding covers the entire front surface of your teeth, you would be better off having two porcelain veneers. The porcelain will be extremely stain-resistant, more so than your own enamel. But again, you should have that done by an expert cosmetic dentist.
Oh, and about the Supersmile toothpaste. While Supersmile is very effective at preventing and removing stains on teeth, it isn’t as effective at removing stains in your situation, if the problem is a lack of polish. Once the composite is polished, Supersmile is also great at preserving the shine because of its low abrasivity.
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.