I have dreamed of getting porcelain veneers for years. I saved every penny I could, stashed away every tax refund, and hadn’t been out to eat in two years. I can’t express how much I was looking forward to finally having a smile I was proud of. But, when my dentist bonded them on, I was so disappointed. They look so thick. I feel like I have donkey teeth. Even though the color and shape are better than my old smile, I was expecting something else. To me, these look fake. My dentist says that’s a common reaction because I’m not used to them and I’ll like them in a week. I could barely see while I drove home, I was crying so much. It’s been a week. They still look fake. What do I do?
These type of stories absolutely break my heart. I’m so sorry you’ve made so many sacrifices to end up so disappointed. I can tell you what went wrong right away. You didn’t go to a true cosmetic dentist.
One problem for patients is that cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. It’s an art form that any general dentist can dabble in. It sounds like dabbling is all your dentist has done.
True cosmetic dentists invest serious time with training, study, and practice into learning how to create stunning smile makeovers. All of that has to be done post-graduate school. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school.
How Do I Know Your Dentist Wasn’t a Cosmetic Dentist?
I could tell right away you were dealing with a dabbler. First, he just bonded the porcelain veneers on before getting your okay on the results. Instead, he should have used a try-in paste so you could have seen your porcelain veneers on your teeth and looked at them in several types of lighting.
Second, if you weren’t absolutely over the moon about your new smile, he would have gone back to the drawing board. Never, will a true cosmetic dentist say, “You’ll get used to them.” Nope. You paid for a beautiful smile and that’s what you should get. Don’t even get me started on his “That’s a common reaction.” That should tell HIM something.
Can These Porcelain Veneers Be Fixed?
This is the tricky part. Once they’re bonded in, no changes can be made. The entire case will have to be done fresh with new porcelain veneers. The first thing I would try is to ask your dentist for a refund. You didn’t get to approve the veneers before he bonded them on and that is standard practice with cosmetic dentists.
The problem you’ll run into is if he says, “No.” When it comes to what’s considered a “botched case” with the dental board is different than it should be in cases of cosmetic work. If the veneers are placed properly and your teeth function normally, they won’t force him to refund your money.
Here’s what I’d recommend in that case. Go to an expert cosmetic dentist for a second opinion. You can find one by going to aacd.com and doing a search for an ACCREDITED cosmetic dentist in your area. The accredited part is important. Ask his or her opinion of your case without telling them who the dentist was.
If they agree it was badly done, then solicit their help in getting you at least a partial refund. Sometimes a dentist will listen to a peer more than a patient out of professional pride.
Then, have the smile re-done by someone who knows what they’re doing.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.