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My dentist did a terrible job with my dental bonding.

I chipped my two front teeth on a saxophone back when I used to play in my high school band and my family dentist had fixed them with some dental bonding. That was years ago, and the bonding had discolored, so I asked my current dentist to fix it. All I wanted was to get rid of the discoloration, but that’s where the problems started.

My current dentist didn’t get the color right when she rebonded my teeth, but that’s not the only problem. The bonding has a very obvious texture, one of my front teeth looks longer than the other, and they have a noticeable gap between them.

My teeth look so unnatural now, but the worst part is that my dentist sees nothing wrong with them. When I pointed out all the things I disliked, she just told me that this is the tricky nature of dental bonding. My dentist thinks it’s an improvement because the discoloration is gone, and she told me I probably just need a few days to get used to the look. She did offer to redo the bonding for me again if I’m still not happy with it, but I’m nervous to let her try again.

I think she did her best, and she is a nice dentist, but I’m so disappointed with how my teeth turned out.

Should I let my dentist try again to get my bonding right, or should I just ask for a refund and move on?

— Joshua from Oklahoma City, OK

Joshua, we’re sorry to hear that your latest dental bonding experience left you feeling disappointed in your smile.

Dental bonding is a straightforward procedure on the surface, but it requires a great deal of artistic skill for dentists to blend the right shades and materials to create the perfect finish.

From what you’ve told us, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have better luck after letting your current dentist redo your bonding.

Your dentist may be a fine general dentist and she may have a pleasant chairside demeanor, but like all other dentists, she didn’t receive special training in cosmetic dentistry when she went to dental school. Some dentists have natural artistic ability and can produce stunningly lifelike results when they treat teeth with dental bonding. Your dentist is not one of these, unfortunately.

A chipped upper right front tooth will be prepared with dental bonding by a skilled cosmetic dentist.
Before bonding.

 

 

 

 

The same upper front tooth is shown after receiving dental bonding by a skilled cosmetic dentist. It looks perfectly natural.
After bonding. Dental bonding is supposed to look so natural that no one would ever notice it.

 

 

 

 

 

The mark of a truly excellent cosmetic dentist is that he or she will listen to you and work with you tirelessly until you are happy with the results of your treatment. A dentist with little to no artistic inclination will not make that kind of effort. Given what you’ve shared, it seems like your current dentist only made excuses for why your bonding didn’t turn out well. It also sounds like she wants to avoid redoing it, unless you ask her to try again.

If the appearance of your smile matters to you (as it does to almost everyone), then you should seek treatment with a dentist who has a reputation for providing beautiful smile makeovers with cosmetic treatments such as dental bonding. If you stay with a dentist who is more focused on the mechanical aspect of restorative dentistry, then you probably won’t get the results you’re looking for.

This post was published on behalf of Owasso dentist Dr. Heng Lim.