I had nine ceramic veneers done on my bottom teeth. It has probably been about a month or so ago now. The first time I got to look at the porcelain veneers in person, I wasn’t happy. I told the dentist that they were too white and he decided to send them back to the lab. I requested that the veneers match my other teeth, which appeared to be an A-2 shade.
When they came back a second time, I didn’t have the opportunity to see them before he cemented them in. And unfortunately, I think they still look too white. I didn’t say anything at first because I was in a wedding and the timing didn’t work out. I thought I would give myself some time to get used to them. But, I am still not loving them.
Then, last week one of them broke. If I remember correctly, the dentist told me that if anything happens for the first two years to come in free of charge and he will repair them.
Does this sound normal? The more I think about it, I’m wondering if this wasn’t the wisest investment. I am starting to question it all. Would another dentist look them over and let me know if they will last? If not, do I have any leverage for a refund or is there anything that can be done? Also, is porcelain better than ceramic veneers? I’m wondering if the material of the veneers was the problem.
I know that is a lot of questions, but I’m starting to panic about the whole thing.
-Tanya in Georgia
Thank you for reaching out. Your concerns are legitimate.
The most important question for you is regarding the final placement of the ceramic veneers. Am I understanding correctly that you weren’t given an opportunity to see the veneers before they were permanently bonded in place? It sounds like they were sent back to the laboratory once. But, you should absolutely have had the opportunity to see them the second time before they were placed.
If this is indeed the case and you didn’t have the opportunity to see them, the dentist can get in serious trouble. Consent is required for any kind of medical or dental procedure. If this did not take place, you have recourse because it would be considered malpractice. Now, if you gave a nod or some other kind of indication to move forward, a good cosmetic dentist would have paused and been 100% positive you were giving final approval. An excellent cosmetic dentist wants you to fall in love with your new smile. So, they don’t want there to be any surprises. And another red flag is that it doesn’t sound like the dentist got the color right, not once but twice.
Another major concern is that you have a broken porcelain veneer. The material (porcelain or ceramic) isn’t the issue here. Your question about porcelain versus ceramic is irrelevant because porcelain is another kind of ceramic. If the veneer broke after such a short time period, there was a problem with the application. Their strength comes from the bonding process to your natural tooth. Porcelain veneers are quite thin and fragile alone. But, it’s the bonding that makes them strong enough for biting and chewing. So, this is another problem.
Then, regarding the color, if your lower teeth are whiter than the upper teeth, that will not look natural. It really doesn’t sound like your dentist is experienced in cosmetic dentistry. Another red flag is that he told you to come back for two years if something goes wrong, which makes it sound like he is expecting that to happen.
The best thing for you to do at this point may be to seek a second opinion from a reputable cosmetic dentist. If the situation is as you stated it and you didn’t provide consent, you shouldn’t have any problem with requesting a refund. And if you do run into issues, it sounds like you have grounds to report him to the dental board and even pursue legal action if needed.
Thank you for reaching out. Hopefully, this will help you move forward and get the smile your deserve.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.