I’ve had dental bonding on my front teeth for about five years. I’ve noticed it isn’t as bright as it used to be. One of the five teeth is starting to stain. My dentist wants to replace it, but the bonding doesn’t look bad, so I want to try to whiten it. How often can I whiten the dental bonding without damaging it? Thank you, Tara
Thank you for your question. Many people with dental bonding are interested in whitening it as it ages.
How Often Can You Whiten Dental Bonding?
Unfortunately, you cannot whiten dental bonding. An expert cosmetic dentist may be able to polish away stains or discoloration depending on these factors:
- Type of stain
- Condition of bonding
- Age of dental bonding
If you try to whiten your bonding with whitening toothpaste or bleaching gel, the product may whiten your teeth, but it will not whiten the bonding. Instead, abrasive substances can scratch dental bonding and make them stain more easily.
What Is an Alternative to Dental Bonding?
Porcelain veneers are an alternative to dental bonding.
- Cost – Porcelain veneers cost more than bonding—about $1,500 to $3,000 per tooth.
- Longevity – Quality veneers can last 20 years or longer, while bonding may last about five years.
- Staining – Porcelain veneers are stain resistant, but dental bonding stains with time.
- Procedure – A cosmetic will roughen the surface of your teeth for dental bonding, but porcelain veneers may require removing small amounts of tooth enamel. Preparation for porcelain veneers ensures the custom-made porcelain shells fit snugly on your teeth and around your gumline.
If your budget permits it, you may consider porcelain veneers as a longer-lasting solution than dental bonding. We suggest scheduling a consultation with an advanced cosmetic dentist to discuss your options.
Dr. Jerome Cha, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.