Can Bonding Be Removed Without Taking Away Any Tooth Structure? How Should It Be Done?

This question relates to residual Invisalign IPR been bonded by the destist. I am looking for a second opinion. I want to remove the bonding and close the gaps with traditional braces (if it is possible). I found an orthodontist. Over the phone I was assured that it could be removed without damaging my teeth. But she still needs to see me and take xrays. I am scare of loosing any more enamel. I would like some input from other doctors. please!! I am really nervous about all these.

Doctor Answers 7

Bondind removal

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Yes and no.  Removing bonding (or composite resin) requires the use of the drill.  Removing it can be done with very little damage to the underlying enamel but to say that NO enamel will be removed would be dishonest.   

Fairfax Dentist

Safe, effective removal of composite bonding

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Yes the bonding can be removed without damaging the exosting enamel.  It can be doen with an ultrasonic cleaner that vibrates at a very high frequency, followed by a polish with fine pumice.  It can also be removed with a flame finished carbide burr run on a slow speed handpiece and followed with a fine pumice polish.

Sean Anderson, DDS
San Ramon Dentist

How conserve maximum tooth sturcture

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In order to maximize tooth structure and not "lose" any more enamel these are the tips that we use.

1. Etch the restoration and tooth and then dry. The restoration will be a different color and the tooth will appear chalky giving the dentist a guide on where to begin

2. The use of an air abrasion unit that uses aluminum oxide powder can selectively remove composite and retain solid enamel

3. You need to determine is the original bonding procedure consisted of any enamel reshaping, because the tooth may be shaped differently and some restorative procedures may be needed to get the correct shape.

4.We also have a microscope to magnify the area by approx 16x and this really helps. A microscope is not a must but some sort of magnification or loupe should be used.

J. Willis Baker, DDS
Wichita Dentist

Removing composite bonding always removes SOME enamel

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While it is possible to view enamel and composite bonding and work very carefully to only remove the bonding, SOME tooth structure will be removed.  Even with air abrasion systems, lasers or fine grit sandpaper or burs, SOME enamel is removed (perhaps microscopically).  The question is: is it significant?

The reality is that removal of the enamel is not a big deal.  The teeth are not weaker as a result or more prone to decay.  Your orthodontist should be able to do as you request without any significant issues.

Tooth Colored Bonding Can be Removed Safely

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Any time I work with old bonding, I remove it.  We have been doing this for years-You can tell the difference between the plastic and tooth enamel in most instances.  There are carbide burs that can do this safely.  While you always run the risk of removing a little enamel, I have never had a problem with this procedure. 

We also have the KCP(Kinteic Cavity Preparation) air abrasion system that can spray off the last flicks of bonding once we have removed enough of the bonding. 

Talk to your orthodontist and don't worry.  Reshaping is routine.  Taking x-rays and doing an evaluation is important and worth while for planning your treatment.  You will be thrilled with your results!!!

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

Removing Bonding

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Tooth colored composite bonding can be removed from the tooth surface rather easily.  It can be done with minimal removal of underlying enamel provided there is a shade or texture difference between the layers.  If the area were to be re-bonded, the layer of enamel into which the bonding resin penetrated would have to be removed.  In either case, the amount of enamel removed from the surface is inconsequential.  As we live, bite and chew, the enamel layer is slowly thinned through abrasion.

If you are happy with your smile and tooth size, leave it alone.  Do not be concerned with the minimal bonding done to correct spacing left by IPR.  That spacing was probably needed to get proper tooth alignment.  If you follow through with another round of orthodontic treatment, the bonding can be carefully removed with a series of polishing discs which are aggressive on the plastic bonding but have a minimal effect on enamel.

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Dentist

Bonding, if removed carefully will not damage your enamel

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Removing old bonded fillings from between teeth is not difficult. Dentists have very fine grade sandpaper that when used dry makes it very easy to avoid removing the enamel.  Since the gaps have been covered with bonding for some time the dentist should take the ex-rays to be sure there is not decay lurking under the old bonding.  Your dentist will also need to evaluate the bone around the teeth before beginning the invisalign process. Don't be nervous, your orthodontists is removing old bonding, and old composite from teeth everyday, and it will be a procedure she will be quite proficient in doing.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.