I am really unhappy with how my porcelain veneers turned out. They look ugly! The veneers look bulky and unnatural.
From the beginning, I had a very clear vision of the look I wanted. I felt like I communicated exactly what I wanted them to look like. I ended up talking with both the dentist and the lab and still I ended up with poor results. During the process, I made the dentist send them back to the lab. I was considering leaving that dentist and finding a new one at that point. Because he was not very cooperative. However, I had already invested partial payment, so I decided to stick it out. I felt rushed into making a decision and I feel like the dentist didn’t adequately explain what I should expect in the end. The dentist was nice enough and I did my best to be patient. But, I had a feeling this is how things would end up.
When I went in for the permanent placement of the veneers, I was so nervous. I didn’t really have the opportunity to see them before they were placed. They held them up for me, but I couldn’t really tell anything other than the color. How was I supposed to know what they would look like once they were bonded? They assured me the veneers would look good and that they could always be adjusted after they were applied. But, they weren’t able to do much of anything after the fact.
I’ve tried to get a refund and the dentist is being completely uncooperative. He isn’t even calling me back.
What do I do now?
-Mia in Michigan
Unfortunately, you may have found out the hard way how important it is to find an excellent cosmetic dentist. The main issue that many patients don’t realize is that less than two percent of dentist possess the skill set and passion to do beautiful cosmetic dentistry. Also, cosmetic dentistry is not a special designation in dentistry, which means any dentist can say they are a cosmetic dentist and do porcelain veneers with very little extra training.
In order to be an expert cosmetic dentist requires extensive training beyond dental school, as well as skills that are not taught in dental skill. A general dentist may understand the mechanics on how to place porcelain veneers. But, what we see all too often is that they do not have the passion or aesthetic eye that is required to create lifelike, stunning cosmetic dentistry.
So, when a patient walks in and explains that they want porcelain veneers, the dentist may genuinely believe that they can do it even though they don’t have any specialized training. Another factor is the laboratory. Many general dentists will just send the request to a lab they usually use for crowns. But, porcelain veneers require an artistic perspective from the laboratory too. So, when the veneers come back from the lab, the inexperienced dentist may be more hesitant to send them back or demand changes in order to keep that relationship going with the lab.
An excellent cosmetic dentist will settle for nothing less than perfection. Their goal is for you to fall in love with your new smile. If for some reason the veneers come back from the lab and aren’t what they envisioned, they will keep sending them back until they are flawless. Also, an experienced cosmetic dentist will allow several opportunities for you to see exactly how the veneers will look on your teeth. They often refer to this as a beautiful smile guarantee. They don’t want surprises and want you to love the end results.
It sounds like your dentist may have been in over their head. It also doesn’t sound like you were able to see the veneers or what they would look like. This is a mistake. And now, it doesn’t sound like they are willing to help fix the situation.
At this point, it’s time to move on and find an expert cosmetic dentist in your area. The new dentist may be able to help you pursue a refund if your case is as poor as you say it is. So, you’ll want to do your homework and find a reputable cosmetic dentist and schedule a consultation. If you get the new dentist on your side, they can be quite persuasive in helping convince your original dentist that a refund is appropriate. From a legal perspective, you will have a hard time because they “function” fine. You don’t have much legal recourse for appearance-related issues. If all else fails and you needed to work with a lawyer, you will want to focus on the fact that you didn’t see exactly how they will look and that you felt rushed. It is still likely your best bet to work with a new cosmetic dentist that can help pressure the old one. Hopefully, that will be all it takes.
Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully, it will help someone else think twice and do their research before getting porcelain veneers or any kind of cosmetic dentistry. And a note to anyone reading this post, if you are ever unhappy with your care in the middle of a procedure, you can still switch. A dentist is ethically obligated to help you make the transition to a different and share any of your case information. You don’t have to stay with one that you are not satisfied with for whatever reason.
Best of luck to you. Hopefully, you are on the right track to getting your veneers fixed. Don’t settle for a smile you don’t love.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.