I have blotchy brown fluoride stains on several of my teeth. I’m becoming more self-conscious about my smile, and it is affecting my mood. My previous dentist used Zoom to try to lighten my teeth, but now the brown stains are even more noticeable. My new dentist recommends porcelain veneers. I have read online that some dentists use bonding. Will one treatment work better than the other on the stains? – Macie
It’s good that you left your previous dentist. Many dentists have tried to correct fluorosis (fluoride stains) with Zoom whitening. Zoom works well on deeply embedded stains, but it won’t improve blotchy teeth. After an examination, an advanced cosmetic dentist will let you know if dental bonding or porcelain veneers will conceal the stains. The extent of the stains will help determine which treatment will be effective.
Direct dental bonding can conceal mild fluorosis stains. But bonding is an art that must be done freehand. Most general and family dentists haven’t received training to apply bonding to cover fluorosis stains and get beautiful results. Nor do they stock the right materials to produce natural-looking results. Many dentists attempt to resolve fluorosis with bleaching systems like Zoom, with no success.
The dentist you choose must have an eye for dental aesthetics to balance color, translucency, and gloss in your teeth. Most advanced cosmetic dentists are near larger cities. If you’re able to do so, it’s worth traveling to get the smile you want.
When fluorosis is severe, all the teeth that show when you smile must be covered with porcelain veneers. Only a highly skilled cosmetic dentist has the technical ability and artistic understanding to conceal the stains and produce natural-looking results.
Is your new dentist a highly skilled cosmetic dentist? If not, look for an accredited cosmetic dentist to get predictable, natural-looking results with dental bonding or porcelain veneers.
David Finley, DDS, an accredited fellow of cosmetic dentistry in Monroe, LA, sponsors this post.