I had some misaligned teeth in the front when I smiled. It’s always been an embarrassment. I recently read that bad teeth can have a negative impact on your career. I decided it was time to invest in my smile and (hopefully) my career as well. I went to see a dentist who said he was a cosmetic dentist to get an idea of what to do. He suggested four porcelain veneers as they would take away the negative appearance but not require me to wear braces. Plus, it would be an instantaneous fix. It sounded great. So, I agreed. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way at all. The veneers seemed too small. All of them seemed to have a ridge at the top where I’m worried things will get trapped. On top of that, my teeth don’t match and everything still looks uneven. He also did some reshaping of bottom teeth which I didn’t ask for and charged me for it. I asked him what we needed to do to get the results he promised me and he said my teeth are in bad shape and need root canal treatments and crowns. I found this hard to believe so went to get a second opinion from another cosmetic dentist. He said the teeth are healthy and the only thing I need is to have the veneers re-done. What do I do now? I’m out A TON of money.
The first thing I’ll say is you should know that there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry. That means any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. To make matters worse, smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school.
In order to be a skilled cosmetic dentist, the individual dentists need to seek out and invest in post-doctoral training in this skill. Plus, that doesn’t guarantee skill. Look at it this way. You can have 20 people taking an art course, but not all of them will do beautiful work. You want the dentist who is at the top of the class.
So, how is a patient to know? The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has an accreditation program for just this reason. If I were looking to improve my smile. I’d go to see an AACD accredited dentist.
When Your Porcelain Veneers are a Disaster
You have the right to a refund. I’d start by just outright asking the dentist. You have three things going for you in this:
- He did work without your permission. This is a big no-no in the dental field and he can get in trouble. He is supposed to have your go ahead.
- His work is faulty. With what you described the ridge on your teeth, it sounds like he gave you bulky margins by not getting the porcelain veneers flush. Your concern that things will get trapped there is valid. They will and it will lead to decay.
- You have another dentist saying he lied to you and his work is subpar.
With these factors going for you, if he declines to give you a full refund I’d play hardball. However, be sure you get the other dentist to write out what’s wrong with your case and also that you did not need root canal treatments. Let the dentist know that if he doesn’t return your money you will be reporting him to the dental board as well as taking him to court. That should give him some pause.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.