My Dentist Says I’m Being Unreasonable

I saved up for years to get a smile makeover. My dentist and I decided on Lumineers so that we wouldn’t have to grind my teeth. I did read that you should ask a dentist to try the Lumineers on first to make sure you like them before he bonds them on completely. I told him that’s what I wanted. He said okay. But, when the time came he didn’t try them on. He just bonded them onto my teeth without me even looking at them. I didn’t realize that’s what he was doing. I thought it was the try-in. When I first saw them I burst into tears. They’re so bulky they look like horse teeth and the color looks chalky, not natural. It’s so obvious these aren’t my teeth. I told him I didn’t want them and he said they’re already bonded. What?? Now I can’t fix this and I want my money back, but he’s refusing and saying I’m being unreasonable. Am I?

Miranda D.

Dear Miranda,

A Woman Giving a Thumbs up in the dental chair

Not only are you not being unreasonable, but your dentist has behaved unethically. He completed a procedure without your permission. If you turned him into the dental board, he’d get in a lot of trouble. You have a fantastic case for a full refund.

The biggest problem you’re facing at this point is your dentist is likely a decent general dentist but is in over his head with cosmetic procedures. There are a few things that lead me to believe this. He made several mistakes that the best cosmetic dentists would never make.

How Do You Know if You Have the Best Cosmetic Dentist?

First, his dependence on Lumineers is an error. Lumineers are highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because they don’t require tooth preparation. Unfortunately, the result will often end up like you’ve experienced with bulky teeth.

It’s a common misconception that your teeth have to be ground down for porcelain veneers. That’s not true. Dental crowns require grinding. Veneers usually require mild tooth shaving.

Second, he didn’t use a try-in paste. Even without you requesting him to let you approve the veneers before they’re permanently bonded he should have done that. Good cosmetic dentists ALWAYS do that. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

Third, he didn’t care that you weren’t satisfied. A true cosmetic dentist would be horrified if a patient was so dissatisfied with their work it caused them to cry. They would instantly offer to do them over.

You need to get a little forceful about your refund. Remind him he bonded them on without your approval and you’ll be taking it to the dental board. That should be enough to light a fire under him. Then, go to a dentist who’s accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. If they’ve reached accreditation level, you’ll get a stunning smile.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.