I wanted to get a smile makeover with porcelain veneers to fix my crooked front teeth. It was pretty minor crowding and the cosmetic dentist told me that porcelain veneers would take care of it, instead of ugly metal braces.
Then, the plan kept changing. He said a single veneer, along with some composite bonding would take care of the misalignment issues. After that he explained that my smile would look uneven and recommended getting some cosmetic dentistry reshaping for the lower teeth. This came at an unexpected additional $1,300. Overall, I was flirting with 10k when it was all said and done.
Once the work was done, he then tried to convince me the porcelain veneer was too small and created a gap along the gums. I told him that the original outcome was not reached since the teeth appeared to be still crowded and I was unsatisfied. He then tried to pitch me on replacing all the stinking work with porcelain crowns for another $7,000. And get this – they would also need root canals at the same time as the crowns.
How do dentists get away with this kind of black mail? I saw another dentist because this was simply ridiculous. The new dentist said that four porcelain veneers would have fixed my smile from the beginning. But, at this point, they will still be needed. No crowns and absolutely no root canals were required. Just another $4,500 to get my desired result. How on earth do I get my money back from the original dentist to cover what I truly needed done in the first place? Please tell me you have some advice.
-Becky in California
Sadly, you nailed it in the title. This indeed sounds like a porcelain veneers horror story. He under-delivered, overcharged and didn’t meet your satisfaction. Now, your left with a lack luster smile makeover and additional expenses looming to make it right.
Before you do anything else, please be sure the new cosmetic dentist is an expert. Cosmetic dentistry is not taught in dental school. It requires extensive training and an aesthetic eye to get the results you are after. Not just any general dentist can create beautiful smile makeovers. It would be worth it to seek yet another opinion. Compare their portfolio of work, ask about their credentials, ask about similar cases to yours. Don’t fall into the same trap again. An accredited cosmetic dentist would be ideal.
As far as pursuing a refund. Here are some tips:
- It may sounds silly. But, ask nicely. Start with some pressure but not too much. Explain your dissatisfaction and why.
- If no progress is made, put some more pressure on. Explain that you are seeing a new cosmetic dentist and their assessment of your case.
- Lastly, once you select a new cosmetic dentist you can trust, see if he or she will help you in your quest. Have them explain that a refund would be appropriate under the circumstances. Many dentists care deeply about what other dentists think about their work
- If all else fails, you can go to the dental board. Remember to document all the work that was done and then the recommendations from the original dentist.
- Lastly, an attorney would be the next logical step. But, hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
Sorry you are in this situation. However, thank you for reaching out. Hopefully, it will encourage others considering cosmetic dentistry to do a thorough check on any dentist they are considering.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS