I feel like I’ve ruined my mouth and my hard-working husband’s finances. I had some chipped teeth and some other minor issues with my smile. I asked my dentist about possible fixes and she suggested I get a smile makeover with porcelain veneers. She said it is what the celebrities use to get their gorgeous smiles. My husband and I discussed it as it was a big chunk of change and decided to go ahead with it. I’ve regretted this decision ever since. I’m about to move and running out of time to get this fixed. Here are my problems:
1. The teeth (eight of them) were ground down to nubs. Disgusting little yellow nubs. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it weren’t for the second problem.
2. They don’t stay on. In the course of this year, they have fallen off eleven times. One of them over a major holiday when I couldn’t get in to get them fixed. The humiliation of having those tiny, yellow nubs was almost unbearable.
3. She says I’m being too rough on them, but one of them fell out while I was eating pasta. How is that too hard?
Please tell me a way to get this to work. I’m worried after we move no one will help because it is another dentist’s problem.
I have to express how sorry I am for what has been done to you as well as the anguish you’re going through. It shouldn’t have happened. The good news is you have a pretty solid case for malpractice. Additionally, this can be fixed. The bad news is she has misled you and done some things which will affect the repair as well as how your teeth function for the remainder of your life.
Porcelain Veneers verss Porcelain Crowns
Based on your description, your dentist gave you porcelain crowns, not the veneers she said she would. I know that based on your description of the teeth being ground down to nubs. Look at the two pictures below:
This is what teeth look like when being prepped for porcelain veneers. There is minor removal of tooth enamel, around the width of a fingernail. This is not what you described.
This is closer to what you described and is the preparation for a porcelain crown. Yours may even be more aggressive than this. Here’s where she has done some permanent damage. We don’t currently have the ability to regrow tooth enamel. Because of that, even when this is repaired properly, you will always have to have porcelain crowns instead of the porcelain veneers you were told you were getting.
Here’s where some “good” news kicks in. First, she lied. You were told you were getting porcelain veneers, which incidentally is the go-to procedure for Hollywood celebrities, but instead received dental crowns.
Second, she’s had gross incompetence in her handling of the dental crowns. While smile makeovers, including the procedure of porcelain veneers, isn’t taught in general dental school and therefore isn’t a required knowledge for dentists, dental crowns are a staple. They should NOT be coming off at all, let alone as much as you’ve had them come off.
Her blaming you is unacceptable. You could have been eating steak and apples every day and your dental crowns should have stayed in place.
Getting this Fixed
She needs to pay to have this done correctly. I don’t want you just getting a refund, because it is very likely going to cost more than your original price. You can let her know up front what you want, but don’t get them fixed until you move. I want you under the care of a long-term provider for you.
After you get to your new location. I want you to look on the website for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.com) for an AACD accredited dentist. This is different from just being a member, so make sure you check the accredited dentist option. Accredited dentists are in the top of the cosmetic field and will give you a stunning smile.
If your current dentist refuses to make this right and you have to go to court, make sure to ask for additional money because giving you crowns instead of veneers has damaged your teeth and changed your care for the remainder of your life. I think her malpractice insurance will tell her to pay up quick, because if it ends up in court, you will likely get a substantial amount.
Again, I’m sorry this has happened to you. I don’t like dentists who give our practice a bad name either through incompetence or lack of ethics.
Keep your chin up. You will soon have a smile you will be proud of.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.