I am hoping that you can help me out. I have dental bonding done on my teeth over 14 years ago now. I wanted to explore my options to lighten the bonding work. Is it possible to have it whitened? If it is bleached will it return to the original color? Do I need to get the bleaching done professionally at a dentist’s office or will teeth whitening strips work?
-Sam in Washington
Unfortunately, teeth whitening will not work to lighten your dental bonding. In fact, it will end up making it look worse than it already is. The bleaching agents will whiten your natural teeth and the composite bonding material will remain unchanged, since these formulas only work on living material. This means your natural teeth will lighten, which will make the bonding work stand out even more.
If you meet with a cosmetic dentist, it is possible that some polishing will freshen up the bonding work. Typically, dental bonding needs to be periodically redone to keep it looking beautiful. If the discoloration is a result of years of surface staining, than polishing it may work.
But, if the discoloration is occurring internal to the composite material, it will need to be redone by an expert cosmetic dentist. Doing direct tooth bonding requires an artistic ability and an eye for aesthetics. Not just any dentist can do this kind of work well. Searching for a cosmetic dentist that has membership or credentials with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) would be a great way to locate an excellent cosmetic dentist in your area. Ask to see a portfolio of work that is similar to your case.
Thank you for your question, it is one that is asked often.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.