Dental Bonding Horror Story

I have some fluorosis stains and my dentist suggested we use dental bonding to fix them. I agreed to it under the understanding that they would last for five years. When they first were placed, I noticed the color was uneven because the stains were showing in some spots. I was about to go back and see if we could somehow fix that when several of them fell off. He decided to re-do them, so I expressed my feelings about the color. When I did, he put a thicker layer on. While it covers the stains, they look very thick. Now they’ve fallen off again. Is it possible just to get my money back?


Dear Bonnie,

Fluorosis Stains

In most cases, when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, it is hard to get a refund. This is especially true if the only issue is you don’t like the appearance. Because of this, I try to warn people to choose the dentist who does their cosmetic work very carefully. In fact, I recommend you only use a dentist who has some form of a beautiful smile guarantee.

In your case, however, he is not even meeting the basic standard of care. Your dental bonding is supposed to have stayed on. This can pretty much guarantee you a refund. If he gives you any trouble about that, I suggest you hint to him the dental board will be very interested in his conduct.

What to Do After Your Refund

You probably already figured out your dentist was in over his head. He may be a great family dentist, but hasn’t invested a lot of training in cosmetics.

With your original case, there was a two-fold problem: aesthetics and bonding. Let’s start with aesthetics.

Because your stains were darker, the dentist needs to lay down a thin layer that has some opacity to it and then place the surface layer. It is imperative he uses a type of composite that can be polished to a high-sheen. The all-purpose composites that most family dentists keep in stock will not do this so make sure you see someone who does cosmetic dentistry regularly.

Bonding for your procedure should be done in this way. Etch the enamel until it has a frosty appearance. This will take longer the darker the fluorosis stains. After the etching, your dentist will rinse and dry the area.

The second step is a liquid bonding agent. This will have to be cured with a light. The composite itself is placed over the cured bonding agent. When done properly your dental bonding will be so strong, you would need to get it ground off to remove it. You certainly wouldn’t have it fall off.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.