I just had six porcelain veneers placed on my teeth and, as I was leaving, the dentist told me to expect them to fall off every few months. I knew up front that I would no longer be able to eat crunchy foods, such as apples or nuts, but I really thought they’d stay on other than that. Do you know if I’m expected to pay for the rebonding every time?
I’m astounded at what I’m hearing! First, let me start off by saying that one of the problems you are facing has to do with the fact that cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. This makes the standard of care a very low bar. It wouldn’t matter if they looked awful, as long as they were functional. That is actually the basis for a large number of cosmetic dentistry horror stories. They pay a fortune for a smile makeover and end up with a smile that looks worse.
The good news, though, is that your porcelain veneers falling off is NOT functional. It’s a basic standard of care. If your porcelain veneers fall off even once, go back and demand a refund. In fact, he should not have put eating restrictions on you at all. There are very few restrictions when it comes to porcelain veneers, such as not biting metal and wearing a nightguard if you are a teeth grinder. In your place, I’d go ahead and test the veneers by eating an apple the next time you feel like it. If they’re going to come off and need to be replaced (by a different dentist this time), it is better for you to know sooner rather than later. This way you can get a functional smile and not live in fear.
Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist
Without there being a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry, any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. Unfortunately, creating beautiful smile makeovers isn’t taught in general dental school. Instead, a dentist has to invest in a significant amount of post-doctoral training as well as have an artistic eye.
It’s almost impossible for patients to know which dentists have done this and are truly qualified and which haven’t, essentially turning your trip to the cosmetic dentist into a gamble. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recognized this issue. As a result, they started an accreditation program. To become AACD accredited, dentists have to pass stringent exams that prove their technical knowledge of the procedures. Additionally, they’re required to submit a large number of specific cases they’ve personally done to show they can not only implement their technical knowledge but have the artistry required to create beautiful smiles.
If I were getting a smile makeover, I’d want an AACD accredited dentist to do it. When your porcelain veneers fail, and it sounds like your dentist is sadly confident they will, that is what you should look for in the dentist that will replace them.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.