My long-time family dentist recommended porcelain veneers to improve my smile. The opportunity came along for me to be the keynote speaker at a major industry event. I felt self-conscious at my last regular dental appointment, and my dentist told me porcelain veneers would be perfect.
I went ahead and let him do the smile makeover, mainly because I trusted him. He’s been my dentist since I was a little girl. But, I’m mortified with how they turned out. The shape is odd and they feel funny. In fact, my tongue keeps catching on them. I am so disappointed, but don’t have the heart to tell him how much I hate them. Honestly, I’d rather have them removed because my old smile was better than now. How do I bring this up tactfully?
-Tanya in Michigan
First, porcelain veneers cannot simply be removed. When your teeth were prepared, a small portion of the tooth’s natural structure was shaved down. This step is important to ensure a seamless transition between where your natural teeth ends and the veneers begins.
Therefore, removing the veneers will not be an option. Your teeth will not look as they did before. Also, the teeth without the porcelain veneers will be much more prone to tooth decay.
So, how did you get here. First, you trusted your dentist. This is understandable since it sounds like you’ve been seeing him since you were a young girl. But, he doesn’t sound like he is experienced in cosmetic dentistry. Sadly, this happens more often than you’d think. So, if it’s any consolation, porcelain veneer horror stories occur more often than you’d think.
Cosmetic dentistry is an art. It takes extensive training beyond dental school. Less than two percent of those dentists that have pursued that training are actually capable of creating beautiful porcelain veneers. Sorry to have to deliver the bad news. Your dentist’s heart was probably in the right place. He just doesn’t have the skills required for this highly-skilled craft.
Over time, your speech will likely regulate itself. You will end up getting use to it. Also, some small modifications may improve it. But, it sounds like that’s not the only problem. You really need to have the porcelain veneers redone. And you need to see an expert cosmetic dentist, not just a general dentist.
It’s likely that your current dentist will feel terrible that you’re not happy. He will likely offer to redo them. But, it truly is in your best interest to find an excellent cosmetic dentist in your area. You will end up with similar results if you go back. It is the right thing to do to tell him how you feel about the end result. You also may be able to get some of your money back. Explain that you’re not happy and you’d like to put it toward having them redone.
It may feel awkward. Ultimately, your dentist sounds like a nice guy. Stick with him for your routine care. He was just in over his head. Hopefully, he will do the right thing and reimburse you for your porcelain veneers disaster.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS