If two of my front teeth had teeth bonding on it just two weeks ago, and both have come off within those two weeks, is the teeth bonding too thin of an application? Also, although they are supposed to look white—the teeth bonding is a putty tint—like there is no depth. Are extra layers of tooth bonding needed? This is a regular dentist doing them. He tells me that with bonding the tooth shows through, causing the graying/putty look. Please help!
—Karen in Ohio
Your dentist does not seem to understand color depth and opaquing, and it appears that he also is lacking in teeth bonding technology because he doesn’t know how to get the bonding to stay on the tooth. It doesn’t require thick bonding to get it to stay on—just proper etching and bonding technique.
It sounds like you are getting tooth bonding to try to mask out an undesirable tooth color, because you’re saying that you have this gray putty look showing through. So your teeth are a putty color. To do that properly with tooth bonding, the dentist would need to first reduce the tooth a little to give him some space to work. He would then apply a thin opaquer to mask out that putty color, and then build up the color he wants, first with a composite material of medium translucency, and then a very translucent layer on the surface to give that sensation of depth.
Dental schools have a pretty full curriculum, and they do not feel the need to teach students how to do this type of color manipulation. They generally teach just the basics of color matching. To learn this, a dentist needs to take post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry, and most dentists just don’t feel the passion for cosmetic dentistry to want to do that.
Another problem is that the overwhelming majority of dentists won’t stock the materials needed to do this type of work. That’s why it’s so important to not ask your family dentist to do this—go to an expert cosmetic dentist.
- Our page on general dental bonding information has a discussion of the complexity of tooth color. You may want to check that out.
- Click here to read the other “cosmetic dentistry horror stories.”
- Visit Dr. Hall’s blog to read his answers to hundreds of questions like this.
- Click here if you have a question for Dr. Hall. He answers by email.
- Click here for referral to an expert cosmetic dentist.