Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure involving the application and bonding of a tooth-colored resin material to an existing tooth. This procedure is often done to improve the appearance of a tooth, repair a chipped or cracked tooth, close gaps between teeth, or protect the roots from being exposed.
The resin utilized in dental bonding is a durable plastic material carefully matched to the natural color of the patient’s teeth. The dentist applies the resin to the tooth, shapes it, and then uses a special light to harden and bond it to the tooth. After the bonding material is set, the dentist carefully polishes it to blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.
Dental bonding is a relatively quick and non-invasive procedure compared to other cosmetic dental treatments. It is commonly used for minor cosmetic enhancements, and it can provide aesthetically pleasing results.
However, it is more prone to stains, it is less durable than other dental restorations like veneers, and it will need to be replaced over time.
In this article, we’ll discuss the process of eliminating stains from bonded teeth.
Does composite dental bonding discolor?
Yes, composite dental bonding can discolor over time. Exposure to certain foods and beverages, such as coffee or red wine, and smoking, will contribute to staining.
It’s worth noting that not all composite materials are created equal. Older formulations may be more susceptible to discoloration.
As these materials age, they might exhibit a yellowish or brownish tint, and as a result, make the contrast of the dental bonding and your natural teeth more obvious.
Can composite dental bonding be whitened?
No, composite bonding cannot be effectively whitened. This is because dental restorations respond differently to whitening agents than natural teeth do.
Unlike natural teeth, the material used in composite bonding doesn’t allow the whitening agent to reach the deeper layers of the teeth. Therefore, your teeth may retain the appearance of uneven stains or a contrast, even if you whiten them.
The good news is that there are various methods available to achieve a brighter smile, even if you are currently dealing with noticeable contrast.
The ability to remove stains completely depends on a couple of things:
- The specific bonding material that was applied to the tooth.
- The severity and types of stains: extrinsic stains (i.e. superficial stains) vs intrinsic stains (deeper stains)
With this information, we can identify which of the following procedures would be most effective for you.
3 Ways to eliminate stains from bonded teeth
1. Polishing the surface. A dentist can remove some stains by polishing the existing bonding material. The process effectively eliminates surface stains. However, in the case of stubborn stains that have permeated through the material, standard polishing may not be sufficient.
2. Re-do entire restoration. For some patients, polishing will be ineffective because the stains are too deep or because the bonding material has degraded to the point where it has permanently changed to a yellowish-brown color. In the event of either of these situations, the solution is to remove the existing bonding and replace it with a new composite material that matches your teeth. We recommend having your teeth professionally whitened first so that the new bonding material can match your teeth perfectly.
3. Replace with dental veneers or a dental crown. If you’re looking for a stain-resistant solution, porcelain veneers are an excellent option. Porcelain crowns also serve as a viable choice. Each option has its advantages, and a consultation with one of our dentists at Kootenai Dental Group in Coeur d’Alene, ID can help you determine the most suitable approach.
Tips to prevent stains on composite resin-bonded teeth
As with most things, prevention is better than the cure, and avoiding the stains altogether is indeed the best solution to maintaining your pearly whites.
These are some ways to prevent stains from penetrating your teeth.
1. Maintain a good oral care routine: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once daily to prevent the buildup of plaque. When you consume staining substances, rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth 30 minutes afterward to minimize potential discoloration.
2. Use the right kinds of toothpaste: Choose a non-abrasive whitening toothpaste designed for bonded teeth. This ensures it is gentle on dental restorations and will prevent any potential scratching of the composite resin material. Soft-bristled brushes are also recommended.
3. Limit stain-causing foods and drinks: Cut down on pigmented foods and drinks that are notorious for causing stains, like coffee, tea, grape juice, curries, tomato-based sauces, blueberries, cherries, and soy sauce. If you do consume such items, practice moderation to lessen their impact on the appearance of your bonded teeth.
4. Use a straw: When drinking beverages that may cause staining, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
5. Drink water often: Drink water both during and after meals to keep your mouth hydrated and to help prevent stains from settling in.
6. Quit smoking and vaping: The use of tobacco products has significant adverse effects on your oral health, including staining, gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, reduced saliva production, and oral cancer. Giving up smoking not only decreases the likelihood of teeth staining but, more importantly, enhances your overall health.
7. Oil pulling: Coconut oil pulling is a traditional oral care practice that involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Oil pulling improves gum health, alleviates dry mouth, reduces harmful bacteria, and contributes to a brighter smile by lifting surface stains from the teeth.
8. Protect your teeth: Damage to the bonding can increase the susceptibility of tooth stains. To preserve the integrity of the bonding, avoid brushing with baking soda, resist biting your nails or pen caps, don’t use your teeth as tools such as for opening packages or cracking nuts, and don’t chew on ice cubes, hard candies, toffee, or popcorn kernels. When participating in activities with a potential for tooth damage, like contact sports, wear a mouthguard for protection.
9. Follow dentist recommendations: Adhere to any specific care instructions provided by your dentist for maintaining the longevity and appearance of your bonded teeth. Schedule dental check-ups and professional cleanings at least twice a year.
Where can I get teeth whitening treatment for bonded teeth?
The dental professionals at Kootenai Dental Group in Coeur d’Alene, ID specialize in teeth whitening treatments, veneers, and dental implants.
With over 25 years of experience in the field of cosmetic and restorative dentistry, Dr. Delwyn Dick, DDS, and Dr. Miranda Anderson, DDS, take pride in delivering exceptional results.
Whether you’re dealing with staining issues or simply aiming for a brighter smile, we are happy to develop a customized approach tailored to fit your needs.
Call 208-762-8750 to schedule your free consultation with us today!