I need some dental bonding done of my front tooth. I tripped and chipped the tooth on some cement. When I went to my dentist for a consultation, he did a mock up for me. I was so glad I did that before agreeing to the procedure. The bonding looked quite dull and yellow compared to my natural tooth structure. He said he would have to order a lighter shade of bonding material to get what I am wanting. I think he said the lightest he has is B1. I’m a little uncomfortable with him doing the procedure because even if he had matched the right shade, it would not address how completely dull and lifeless the bonding looked. The change in opacity made it look like he’d just glued something on the mock tooth. I wonder if I am being unreasonable with my expectations, but I’d like to have bonding done that looks like my tooth, which was quite beautiful before my fall.
Bella T. – St. Martin
You are not being unreasonable at all! If your dentist cannot match the natural appearance of your tooth than he is probably not a qualified cosmetic dentist. There is not a recognized cosmetic dentistry specialty. As a result, any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. However, to truly be qualified as a cosmetic dentist it takes a lot of additional training. I tend to think of general dentists as mechanics. They can fix the problem. Qualified cosmetic dentists are artists. They will make your smile look astonishingly beautiful.
Based on what you have said, I think your dentist falls closer to the mechanic side of things. He can fix the chip, but it will not be beautiful. Here are some things to be aware of with your dental bonding. As you consult with another dentist, you can get an idea if he knows what he’s doing. The fact that the lightest shade he could get to was a B1 tells me he doesn’t do a lot of cosmetic work. Additionally, it is much more than just picking the right shade to get a tooth to look natural. I loved reading your concerns because you instinctively knew what your dentist didn’t.
In addition to having the right shade, your dentist will need various translucencies and surface gloss. He will use an inner body shade of composite, for which he will use a strong hybrid composite that will have some opacity to it. After that there are lighter and lighter shades built into the composite as you get near the incisal edge, with a translucent area right on the incisal edge. After all that is done, he will add a microfill that will have a high surface luster in order to mimic the appearance of enamel. A dentist who does that will give you bonding that looks as beautiful as your own tooth. As you can see anyone who just picks a shade and goes does not know what they are doing.
Another procedure you might be interested in is porcelain veneers.
This blog is brought to you by New Jersey Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Allyson Hurley.