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Dental Bonding Disaster

I’m trying to figure out what to do. I’ve had these spaces toward the top of my teeth that look like dark triangles. I got so tired of that being the thing I see when I smile. My dentist said he could just close those spaces with dental bonding and it would be an easy fix. That has not been the case. When he first did the bonding it looked like he just did some white caulking on my teeth. It doesn’t match at all. He insisted that’s because I’m used to seeing it dark there and it matches fine. I don’t agree. The bigger problem, though, is I can’t get floss between the teeth anymore. Is that going to bad or am I overreacting?


Dear Lorna,

upper and lower teeth showing some black traingles

Black triangles on upper front teeth and several lower teeth

Black triangles, such as you can see in the picture above, are generally caused by receding gums. Direct dental bonding is a solution for it, but it does take an expert cosmetic dentist. It doesn’t sound like your dentist has this expertise. The fact that you can’t floss is a serious problem. So, no, you’re not overreacting.

This is a problem with dental bonding in a situation like yours. Without a proper understanding of how to shape the bonding in that area you end up with a spot where food and bacteria will get trapped. This is what you’re facing. Without the ability to floss you are going to develop decay and gum disease.

Fixing a Dental Bonding Disaster

My suggestion is to have your dentist use sandpaper strips which are designed to remove this type of dental bonding and have the case re-done. Because he’s put your teeth at risk with this being done incorrectly, you have a right to ask for a refund or for him to make it right.

The color and shape are tricky in that area. There are shade variations even in that tiny space. Plus, if he doesn’t shape it right the second time, you’ll still be in danger of there being no way to floss. If you trust him enough to give it another try, go ahead and give him another chance. However, if you don’t have confidence he can get this right, a refund is a reasonable request.

Finding a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist to Fix Your Dental Bonding

My suggestion, if you decide to get a refund and find a more skilled dentist, would be to look at the cosmetic dentist recommendations on the mynewsmile.com website. A dentist cannot just pay to be listed. Instead, they are screened for both technical skill as well as artistry. Without a high level of training and talent in both areas, they won’t be listed. Any of the dentists listed on their site will do a good job for you.

It’s worth noting that the color the bonding is made is permanent. If you decide to whiten your teeth at a later date, your natural tooth structure will whiten but not the bonding. Because of that, it’s always wiser to whiten your teeth first.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.