My son is a teenager now and becoming very self-conscious about his smile. He’s had brown fluorosis stains for a while. I took him to my dentist and he suggested we whiten his teeth. We did that but it didn’t help the way we’d hoped. The stains are still very visible. Now he’s talking about porcelain veneers, but I’ve also heard dental bonding could work for this. What would your opinion be?
I’m afraid your dentist, while he may be a very good general dentist, is well out of his depth when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. Teeth whitening whitens teeth evenly. When you have splotchy or spotted teeth, this isn’t the right solution. That is pretty basic knowledge about teeth whitening.
Most people don’t realize that cosmetic dentistry isn’t taught in dental school, nor is it a recognized specialty. This means any dentist can do cosmetic work and it is up to them how much training they get. What that has resulted in is a lot of unqualified dentists trying to do cosmetic work.
The Better Solution for Brown Stains
Depending on the severity of the stains, dental bonding might be the better solution. However, again, your dentist is not going to be the one to do this. You will need to seek out a dentist who invested in post-doctoral training for cosmetic work.
Unless you know which post-doctoral institutions are reputable, it is hard to know who has that training, so the one thing I will strongly recommend is that you look at their smile gallery. If they don’t have a smile gallery, they will not be a cosmetic dentist. If they do have a smile gallery, I want you to make sure it is their work and not just stock photos. Then, if it is their work make sure you love the results. I don’t mean, “Oh, that looks okay.” I mean “That is gorgeous. I’d like a smile like that!” It will be worth it if you have to travel to get this done correctly.
If they’re a skilled cosmetic dentist, they can look at your son’s stains and tell you right away whether dental bonding or porcelain veneers will be better. I know porcelain veneers are more expensive, but the positive side of that is they last significantly longer as well.
This blog is brought to you by San Antonio Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Imam.