My smile makeover experience with a supposedly excellent cosmetic dentist has been an absolute nightmare. I thought I did my homework but it turns out that he knew the work was so bad, he simply refunded me. I now have a much better understanding of what it takes to find a true cosmetic dentist. But I hate that I had to learn the hard way. So, this post is for all those out there in search of a cosmetic dentist in your area. I hope you learn from my mistakes.
This time around, I am seeking multiple consultations before committing to the right cosmetic dentist for me. The first one gave me a second opinion on the six crowns I have on my upper anterior teeth. He told me that I’d end up paying $50-100,000 to get them right. Excuse me? He made it sound like it was no big deal, kind of like getting a new car. I’m not sure what kind of car he drives, but we certainly cannot afford a treatment plan like this. I never even heard what he actually planned to do. I think he said something about building my back teeth up and using an appliance to cover several teeth.
My regular general dentist told me that my teeth and gums are healthy. But, I was referred to get an opinion from a periodontist too. I just don’t even understand anymore what I actually need to make this smile makeover right.
-Samantha in Florida
Well, as you are beginning to learn and experience, there is a large variation in what an expert cosmetic dentist charges. The fees you mentioned (up to $100K) are high, even if you actually require all the work you mentioned. It sounds like it’s time to keep moving forward and meeting with other reputable cosmetic dentists so you can compare treatment plans.
Here is what I think is going on with your case based on the information you have shared so far. It sounds like the cosmetic dentist is recommending a full-mouth reconstruction to rebuild your bite. It is likely that your bite is off from all the dental work and that can cause a lot of complications. As far as answering the question for you about whether you actually need it, that is difficult to assess without seeing your case in person. Some dentists are extreme perfectionists and they insist that patients get the ‘top of the line’ most ideal treatment or they aren’t interested in taking the case. It’s possible that is the mindset of your extremely high fee quote. Other dentists will work with you and can be more willing to explore other options. They understand that not every patient can afford the ‘top of the line’ treatment plan. Be open, honest and upfront with your future consultations. From the start, you will be able to tell if this is a dentist willing to explore something other than a full mouth reconstruction.
Here is some food for thought regarding fees. There is a cosmetic dentist who is elite. Let’s refer to him as Dr. Joe. He does exquisite work and people from all over the country fly in to see him for exceptional cosmetic dentistry treatments. Then, across town there is Dr. Mike. He has won countless awards and is highly sought after in his own city. He does beautiful work too. The main difference is that Dr. Joe’s fees are three times what Dr. Mike charges. Now, you are probably thinking to yourself, is Dr. Mike simply not as skilled? The short answer is no. That is likely not the case since Dr. Joe goes to see Dr. Mike when he needs his own dental work done.
In summary, keep looking and don’t give up. You will find the right dentist for you. Get multiple opinions with varying treatment plans so you have something to compare. Try to not let fees be the deciding factor. Selecting the best dentist for you is more than that. It’s all about trust.
Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully, it is helpful to others who are looking for a cosmetic dentist.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.