My daughter is about to graduate high school. Several years ago, she had an accident which damaged her two front teeth. One needed a root canal treatment and both of them received dental crowns. The one that had the root canal has turned gray over the years. For her graduation, we were taking her to get these teeth cosmetically fixed. Our intention was for her to have a beautiful smile in time for her senior pictures. Our dentist said he could replace those old crowns with porcelain veneers. The problem we’ve had is they don’t match. The dentist said because one tooth is grayer they can never match. I wish he would have told us this before we spent several thousand dollars. Is there anything we can do to get these teeth closer together in appearance? Are we being too picky? I feel like we’re letting our daughter down.
You are not letting your daughter down. Your dentist is, though. There are a few issues going on here that need to be addressed. First, I don’t know what your dentist was thinking saying he was giving you porcelain veneers. If your daughter had porcelain crowns, the only thing he could replace the crowns with is more porcelain crowns. It was unethical of him to claim to be giving her veneers when he didn’t. We see this quite often. Patients come to us disappointed in the “veneers” their dentist provided only to find out they are actually crowns.
To give you an idea. The image above shows a porcelain veneer being placed. As you can see, it is a thin wafer. A dental crown, on the other hand, is bulkier and completely surrounds a tooth that has to be ground down to a nub to make room for it.
A second issue I see is his inability to match two teeth. When one front tooth has to be replaced, it can be pretty tricky to match to the second one. It takes an expert cosmetic dentist. Because of that, less skilled cosmetic dentists will try to convince their patients they will have to crown both teeth, which is pretty simple to match. Unfortunately, your dentist can’t even do that.
Finally, a gray tooth can be made to look whiter. You are not going to get there with this dentist though. My suggestion is you ask for a refund. He misrepresented what you were being given and he never told you upfront he would not be able to match the teeth.
Once you have secured your refund, I want you to look for an AACD accredited dentist. Accreditation is different from being a member. They had to pass stringent exams and demonstrate a high level of artistry in their work. These are the dentists that can give your daughter a beautiful smile.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.