My poor daughter is living her very own cosmetic dentistry horror story! When she was much younger, she fell and broke her two front teeth. One of the front teeth required a root canal treatment and then the two teeth ended up getting crowns. That was close to 10 years ago now and the color has worsened over the years. When we talked to our dentist he said she needed porcelain veneers on her two front teeth.
After we went through the consult, they came back from the lab. But the dentist didn’t think they looked right and said he wanted to order a new set. Once we had them redone, they looked much nicer than what they did before. He explained that he lengthened the tooth and redid her gum tissue. There were a couple things that still felt a little off and he worked with us to correct the symmetry between the two teeth.
Now, as some time has passed, we aren’t happy with one of them because of a gray color that is showing through on the tooth that had the root canal done on it all those years ago. The color doesn’t match the other one. Also, when you look at it from several angles it sticks out further than the other one. So, it looks like it is larger than the other one too. Again, we are better off than the way it looked before any of the recent work was done. But, for the price tag we spent ($4,000) we feel like they should look much more natural.
The dentist explained that nothing can be done with the gray one based on the status of the tooth before he did any work. Do you think our expectations are too high?
My daughter is going off to college next year and I want to send her on her way with a beautiful smile, or at least one she doesn’t have to hide when she smiles.
You are absolutely right to insist that your daughter get a beautiful, lifelike result. That is not too much to ask, especially for the fees you have paid. Unfortunately, not every dentist is skilled at cosmetic dentistry and it is sounding like your dentist falls into that category. Less than two percent of dentists have the ability and passion to create natural-looking, flawless cosmetic dentistry. But that doesn’t mean you should have to settle.
Also, to clarify for anyone else reading this post, it sounds like the work that was done for your daughter was porcelain crowns on her front teeth and not porcelain veneers. Sometimes a dentist will even refer to them as veneers, which can be confusing to the patient. A crown covers the entirety of the tooth, kind of like a cap. And a porcelain veneer is a very thin shell of porcelain that is bonded to the front surface of the tooth. Take a look at the photograph to see an example of a porcelain veneer. Both cosmetic dentistry treatments require a dentist to have extensive training in cosmetic dentistry, especially on such a highly visible area like front teeth.
The only other thing, which I hope is absolutely not the case, is that the dentist would be trying to cover the porcelain crowns with porcelain veneers. Now, that is a recipe for disaster.
At this point, the crowns likely need to be redone because they do not sound like they are presentable. The gray color could have been remedied with bleach prior to the placement of the crown. This would have helped with the color issue she is now experiencing. Then, an opaque material would have helped the tooth blend in perfectly with the neighboring one. An experienced ceramist at the lab could have also helped correct some of this issue by using some opaque porcelain, and then covered it with a translucent layer.
There is big distinction between dentists that do “some” cosmetic dentistry or think they can and an accredited, expert-level cosmetic dentist. A true cosmetic dentist will not be satisfied unless you absolutely love your new smile. There will be multiple opportunities to see exactly how it will look before it is permanently bonded in place so there are no surprises.
Unfortunately, it sounds like this dentist is not going to give you the results you not only desire, but that you deserve. He needs to make it right and you should request a full refund so you can find another experienced cosmetic dentist in your area. If the dentist gives you are hard time at all, it would be wise to get a second opinion from an excellent cosmetic dentist and explain that you are unhappy with the result. This usually will put pressure on the original dentist to do the right thing.
Your daughter should not have to settle. It’s time to move on and find the right dentist for you. It is not that difficult of a fix and your daughter should be proud to show off her smile. Don’t give up!
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS