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Brian LeSage, DDS, FAGD, FAACD

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Archives for November 2020

How Many Times Can My Dentist Redo Bonding?

I love my dentist, but this time, I am convinced that he doesn’t know what he is doing with the bonding on my teeth. After I finished Invisalign, the edges of my teeth looked zigzagged, so my dentist said he could even the edges to look natural but not super straight. I thought it was a good idea. The first try was a disaster. I tried to get used to it, but it looked like a bad Silly Putty job. My dentist removed and reapplied the bonding, and I am still not happy. My dentist is very pleasant and agreeable to redo the bonding as many times as needed, but I’m concerned about how much removing and reapplying I can take. Are my dentist’s repeated mistakes going to ruin my teeth eventually? – Thanks. Turner from Arizona


Your description sounds like your dentist’s ability is more questionable than how many times he can apply and remove dental bonding. Although your Invisalign treatment is complete, your current dentist might not be able to help you reach your smile goals. But first, we will answer your question about applying and removing dental bonding.

Can Dental Bonding Be Removed Without Damaging Your Teeth?

Yes, a dentist can remove dental bonding without damaging your teeth. The concern is if your dentist placed bonding on your tooth enamel or the dentin—the layer beneath the bonding. If a dentist conservatively etches your teeth before bonding, it only affects a small amount of tooth enamel.

Ways to Remove Dental Bonding

A cosmetic dentist might choose one of these options to remove dental bonding from your teeth:

  • Sandpaper disc – A sandpaper disc is flexible and bends with the shape of a tooth. It polishes composite but can also remove it. It will leave a smooth, polished gloss.
  • High-speed carbide drills – When a dentist applies light pressure, a carbide drill can quickly remove composite bonding without damaging tooth enamel. But it’s not as flexible as a sandpaper disc and often leaves streaks of material on teeth. A cosmetic dentist can remove the streaks with a sandpaper disc.
  • Air abrasion – Although most general dentists don’t have air-abrasion equipment in their offices, this technique effectively removes bonding. Cosmetic dentists readily use air abrasion equipment.
  • Sand-blasting nozzles – A micro-etcher, most often used by cosmetic dentists, is a slower method to remove composite. It’s often used as a finishing step.

Should You Let Your Dentistry Try the Bonding Again?

Before-and-after dental bonding photos from Brian LeSage, DDS

If you need dental bonding after Invisalign, these photos from Dr. LeSage show the beautiful results an expert cosmetic can achieve.

Depending on your dentist’s skill and advanced cosmetic dentistry training, he may or may not have these tools in his office. But no doubt, you want to complete your smile makeover and enjoy it. We suggest that you consider getting a second opinion from a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training.

During a consultation, you can discuss your goals with the cosmetic dentist and listen as they explain your treatment options for improving the edges of your teeth with bonding. A cosmetic dentist can seamlessly apply bonding to your teeth and give you a smile you love.


Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist, Dr. Brian LeSage, sponsors this post.

My porcelain veneers are too shiny. Is too late?

My porcelain veneers are so shiny that I think they make my teeth look fake. The shine is so obvious in my pictures. My dentist thinks it looks fine and brushes off my requests to reduce the shine. Is there a way to minimize it? I will do it even if I must switch dentists. Thanks. Drew from Oregon


Shine and texture of the surface of your teeth are essential aspects of a smile makeover. But both aspects must be well-balanced. And even more essential is that you—the patient—like your smile. Otherwise, your new smile can decrease your confidence or embarrass you.

Properties of Porcelain and the Glisten of Your Smile

Before and after photos porcelain veneers photos from Brian Lesage, DDS

Porcelain veneers before-and-after photos from Brian LeSage, DDS, FAGD, FAACD, of Beverly Hills

Porcelain has a natural sparkle that makes it look real. But for it to look natural on your teeth, a dental ceramist must add texture. Natural teeth have varied textures, and as we age and our teeth wear, texture decreases. A dental ceramist works closely with your dentist to design porcelain veneers. Your description sounds like your veneers are flat, lacking texture. And that can make them look fake.

The photo to the right is an example of texture with dental ceramics. When you look at the patient’s teeth, the surface is shiny but irregular. The teeth sparkle naturally.

What to Do If Your Veneers Are Too Shiny

If your veneers are too shiny, they lack texture. The issue is not uncommon for people who receive veneers from their family or general dentist. But advanced cosmetic dentists know how to add texture to the surface of your veneers.

Dentists with training in aesthetics agree that they are successful when a patient loves their new smile. And cosmetic dentists don’t bond on porcelain veneers until you are confident about your smile makeover. If you’re hesitant, the dentist will ask questions to understand what you don’t like. They will either make the corrections or send your porcelain veneers back to the lab to get it right. It seems that your dentist lacks that level of concern, Drew.

Reducing the shine in porcelain veneers

  • Working with your current dentist – You can speak with your dentist again about your disappointment and ask him to remake your veneers. You invested in a smile makeover and should get what you want. If your dentist agrees, let him know that you must see your new veneers on with a try-in paste before he bonds them to your teeth.
  • If you must find a new dentist – If your dentist is uncooperative, you can ask for a refund. And then, your priority is to find a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training. Your new dentist might be willing to contact your current dentist and help you get a refund.

Best wishes for getting the smile you want.


Brian LeSage, DDS, FAGD, FAACD, of Beverly Hills, sponsors this post.

My porcelain veneers are too shiny. Is too late?

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”
– Thích Nhất Hạnh

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