My dentist and I have been talking about doing cosmetic bonding on my front tooth on the top. I have a noticeable chip. It’s not a huge concern and I’ve been putting it off for years, but I wouldn’t mind getting it repaired. The last time I was in, they gave me a quote and it included a charge for nearly $1,000 for tooth whitening. What a racket! They’re charging me more for that then they would for the repair. I asked if it was necessary and the lady told me that the doctor always does whitening before cosmetic bonding. I’m not into that. I don’t want a fake white smile. I like mine. I just want the small chip repaired. Is this standard protocol that all dentists follow?
Every dentist sets his own guidelines, so it’s possible this is something your dentist mandates, but it’s likely there was some confusion in the communication that you got. Particularly when you work with a cosmetic dentist, his or her goal is to give you the smile you want. An experienced cosmetic dentist will work with you to identify your goals because, ultimately, you’re the one who should be ecstatic about how you look. Most don’t consider their job done until you are happy with it. To that end, you’ll hear of cosmetic dentists doing all sorts of things, including using shades of brown and yellow to match teeth or give a more natural look, provided that’s what the patient wants.
That said, if you will ever want brighter teeth, now’s the time to whiten. The cosmetic bonding can’t be lightened after the fact, so it makes sense to do the teeth whitening beforehand if you do want to go lighter. If cost is a barrier here, you can ask your dentist about doing a take-home kit. They’re still professional-grade whitening, but it’s a fraction of the cost of in-office options and the shade change happens gradually over a period of days or weeks, depending on how often you use the kit and how long you leave the trays in.
If you genuinely don’t want to lighten, talk to the dentist or have his office staff give him a message with your inquiry. It would be fairly odd for him to refuse to do the work if you don’t whiten. More than likely, the office is simply responsible for letting you know that whitening should be done first if you want it done. However, if you happen to be at an office where the dentist really won’t budge on it, you may want to get a second opinion from an alternate cosmetic dentist.
This blog is sponsored by Uveneer, maker of a revolutionary cosmetic bonding matrix for dentists.