I had dental bonding done years ago to cover some tetracycline stains. Over time, the bonding has worn off and picked up stains. I wanted to replace the bonding, but I am in a new state with a new dentist. He is insisting that dental bonding cannot be replaced and I have to get Lumineers. That is a much more expensive procedure than I remember my dental bonding costing me. Are Lumineers the only option or is there something else I can look at, such as teeth whitening?
It sounds to me like you are with a dentist that does not do much cosmetic dental work. For one thing, dental bonding can absolutely be replaced. I’m not sure how he does not know that. Secondly, he is recommending Lumineers. This particular brand of porcelain veneers is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.
You have three options for covering tetracycline stains. The first is porcelain veneers. This is the best option because the veneers will last longer than dental bonding. While bonding can give you a few years of stain resistance and heartiness, the porcelain veneers can last your lifetime when well taken care of. This means you won’t have to keep replacing them.
Your second option is to replace the dental bonding. Depending on the surface area, this may actually require more chair time for the dentist which could raise the price. They also have to be done free hand, so you will want to find a cosmetic dentist with a lot of experience covering tetracycline stains with dental bonding.
Finally, teeth whitening is sort of an option but you have to be very determined and patient in order to get it to work. It could take months and months of teeth whitening, which could lead to tooth sensitivity. I would only recommend professional strength take home whitening in this situation.
Your Most Important Decision
Your top priority should be to find a qualified cosmetic dentist to do this work. Tetracycline stains are some of the toughest to deal with. It will require a dentist with a significant about of post-doctoral training as well as an artistic eye. In your place, I would only allow a dentist who reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry touch this. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. Listen to what his or her recommendation is before deciding on a procedure.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.