Can Bonded Teeth Be Whitened?

Who doesn’t wish to have a perfect smile? While dental tooth bonding is a versatile restoration to correct various functional and aesthetic issues with your teeth, the bonding material itself is prone to stain. Indeed, the resin material used with dental bonding does not respond well to teeth whitening treatments.

The teeth whitening process will cause the bonding material to be a different shade than your teeth. Thus, creating an imperfect appearance instead of the bright smile you wanted.

Luckily, it is still possible to get the beautiful smile you desire. Let’s find out why the bonding material is prone to staining and not whitening and how to have a perfect smile with functional and aesthetic features.

What is dental bonding?

Dental bonding is the application of composite resin to the tooth’s surface to repair it. It’s a simple, affordable cosmetic procedure that is typically completed in one visit. In this treatment, the tooth-colored resin is prepared and applied directly to your teeth. The resin is a gummy-like nonporous material that can be molded in the desired shape, which then hardens using a special light. Cosmetic teeth bonding is used for decayed, chipped, or discolored teeth. It is also a common way to treat roots that have receded as a result of gum disease.

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is the process of lightening the color of teeth. Whitening is often desired when teeth become stained over time for various reasons. It can be achieved by changing the intrinsic or extrinsic color of the tooth enamel. This treatment uses whitening agents, which penetrate the enamel – an outer layer of the tooth – and oxidize discolored molecules. The oxygen molecules break down the residues (from tobacco and certain foods and drinks) into water and carbon dioxide without affecting teeth enamel, giving you a brighter smile as a result.

Why Does Bonding Material Stain But Not Whiten?

Your natural tooth enamel is porous. While this makes your teeth prone to staining agents that cause discoloration, it also makes your teeth favorable to the teeth whitening treatment. This helps the bleach agents to penetrate the deeper layers of your teeth and develop a sparkling, white smile.

The material used in dental bonding is nonporous. Although this composite resin material stains over time, it stains at a lower rate than your natural teeth – due to the lack of pores that your natural tooth enamel contains. This nonporous nature of bonding material also makes it resistant to teeth whitening. Suppose you undergo teeth whitening after teeth bonding. In that case, you will find that your natural teeth are brighter than before, while your dental bonding work remains that same shade. This often makes the bonded tooth look stained due to the difference in color between the bonding tooth and its neighboring newly whitened teeth.

How To Whiten Bonded Teeth?

Even though bonding material does not respond to whitening material as teeth do, there is a convenient solution. The most appropriate time to whiten your teeth is before you have a dental bonding procedure. That way, your teeth will be at their whitest when your dentist color-matches the bonding material. Conversely, if you’ve already undergone a bonding procedure and now wish to whiten your teeth, you have two choices available.

  • You can get a porcelain veneer that matches your new tooth color.

  • You can replace the discolored resin with bonding resin. This might be a good option if your bonded tooth is more than a decade old.

Talk to your dentist to learn more about your options. You can also check “How much does it cost to get your teeth bonded?