I did a complete smile makeover that started with braces. After I finished treatment in January, my dentist replaced old dental bonding on my teeth for fluorosis stains. The bonding he initially did was uneven in color, and I could see stains through them. The same evening, I received the bonding, it fell off four teeth. I returned to the office the following week. I told the dentist that I did not like the color, and he added a thicker layer of bonding. The same thing happened with the bonding. Within three days, it fell off.
My dentist told me that I have a bad bite and must be careful about what I eat and wear a mouthguard. I got the mouth guard, but it is not helping. My dentist’s excuse now is that dental bonding is not meant to be permanent. When I asked if it was supposed to last only three days, he said it should last three years. So why is my bonding falling off? I have had experiences like this with a car mechanic. He said he fixed my car, but I had to keep returning it for the same noise. Eventually, I understood that the mechanic did not know what he was doing, so I switched mechanics. Does the lesson I learned apply to my teeth? I want a refund. – Thank you. Clark B. from NJ
Thank you for choosing our office with your questions.
We understand your disappointment and readiness to get quality bonding, especially after successful treatment with braces.
Your experience with an auto mechanic led you to the correct conclusion about your dentist. It would be best to find a new cosmetic dentist who understands dental bonding techniques. Leave your dentist before your cosmetic dentistry nightmare gets worse.
If you had to tell your dentist that the bonding is the wrong color and you can still see the stains, your dentist would not admit that he lacks the skill to give you impressive results. And it is unlikely that he has the suitable materials and equipment to enhance your smile. Many family dentists stock all-purpose composite only. They are not prepared to match tooth color and conceal fluorosis stains. And unless they have advanced training in cosmetic dentistry, they do not know how to manage your case.
A refund for cosmetic dentistry might be challenging to get if the issue is that you do not like the way it looks. But you might have grounds for getting a refund because the bonding will not stay on. And a basic standard for dentistry is that the work is intact.
If your dentist refuses to refund your money, you can file a complaint with the dental board in your state. You can also notify your dental insurance company if it is providing any benefits toward your treatment.
Below are facts about fluorosis, the types of stains, and how they appear on teeth.
Fluorosis is a condition that occurs when you have consumed too much fluoride as a child when your teeth are still developing. There are varying degrees of fluorosis stains.
Mild fluorosis stains appear as small white spots on the teeth. When stains are very mild, some patients do not want any treatment, but they can cover the tooth’s front and look blotchy if the white spots are extensive.
Severe fluorosis stains are brown and unattractive. The stains are challenging to conceal, so you need an expert dentist to correct them.
Advanced cosmetic dentists manage fluorosis stains with these steps:
Bleaching your teeth first – If you want your teeth whitened, tell your new cosmetic dentist. Your dentist must complete the whitening process first to ensure your bonding and new tooth color match. If you whiten your teeth after receiving dental bonding, they will get whiter than the bonding.
Selecting composite – Advanced cosmetic dentists have an inventory of composite to blend and match the shade and translucence of your natural teeth. Cosmetic dentists are artists who use a broad color palette to produce beautiful, natural-looking results.
Applying the bonding – Bonding dental composite to stay on requires these steps:
The composite will adhere so firmly that your dentist would have to grind it off to remove it.
Dentists apply composite only to the fronts of your teeth, so your dentist’s precautions about a nightguard or watching what you eat do not make sense.
Look for a dentist with post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry and schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment options.
Dr. Steve Sirin, an Elgin, Illinois, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.