Can dental bonding be removed?

Can the material used to do dental bonding be removed from my teeth without causing any damage? A couple of weeks ago I had dental bonding work done to close a gap in my front teeth, and I think it looks terrible! I complained at the dentist’s office, but he said I just needed to get used to the new look. I went home and started looking up pictures of other patients’ bonding results, and my teeth look just awful in comparison. I’ve given it two weeks, and I still cringe every time I look in the mirror.

I want to find a new dentist, and I want them to remove the work done by my old dentist. It is easy enough to spot, as it is obvious where my natural tooth ends and the bonding material begins. I know from looking at other cases that this is not right!

Any information you can give me would be great. 

Corinne in New York

Dear Corinne,

Good news – the tooth bonding material is removable. The bonding material can be sanded off by any dentist, using special sandpaper.

When you chose the dentist to do this procedure for you, make sure you are choosing a highly skilled, expert cosmetic dentist. Direct bonding is done freehand, and requires a great deal of artistic and technical skill to get really superior results. You are absolutely right in stating that you should not be able to tell where the bonding material and your tooth begin and end. The end result should be seamless, and beautiful, and certainly not something that makes you flinch when you look in the mirror.

Check to see if the dentist you are considering is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). This is not a guarantee, but it greatly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. You are also on the right track with checking out pictures of other bonding work. Ask your prospective dentist to see samples of his work, and ask a lot of questions.

Good luck!