Tag Archives: cosmetic dentistry mistakes

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.

Problems with new veneers

I recently had 6 porcelain veneers placed on my upper front teeth, but have some serious problems with the work that was done. At first the two canine teeth were too bulky. To fix this my dentist began polishing the right one, which created a dark spot on the tooth. This mistake was obvious even to the dentist who agreed right away to replace it. They are still a little too bulky, but I don’t know what we can do about it and it isn’t too horrible. I think I can live with that part. The second part though, I can’t, and I don’t know what to do and am hoping you can give me advise. Before he glued them on he showed me what they would look like. But he only showed them to me in daylight. The windows were open and there was a lot of natural light. The color looked great to me. But, when I got home that evening, the veneers looked darker, almost grey. They are quite a bit darker than the rest of my teeth, which I had bleached to match the color I wanted my veneers.

I called my dentist, but he said that he showed them to me beforehand and I thought they were fine. That is true, but I didn’t know they could look differently in various lighting. He says there is nothing he can do. Is that true? I now hate my smile. Not only did I spend all that money, but I am dreading smiling for the next ten to twenty years with grey teeth. I’m in tears just thinking about it.

Jaycee L.- Michigan

Jaycee,

Unfortunately, you are not the first patient that has contacted me regarding disastrous cosmetic work. I know I wasn’t there and didn’t see your case, but it sounds to me like your dentist was learning as he went. Maybe he doesn’t have a lot of experience and training with porcelain veneers. There are some brands of veneers that you only have to pass a simple informational test to be certified to place them.

The problem you are having with the veneer color  is called color metamerism. Under one light, the porcelain matches your natural teeth. Under another light, they don’t. Your dentist may not have been familiar with this issue if he didn’t have sufficient training.

Any true cosmetic dentist will have a passion for esthetics. He will want the results as beautiful just as much as you do. If you aren’t satisfied with them, he certainly shouldn’t be either. It isn’t true that he can’t do anything about them. He could replace them. However, I don’t think that is the best scenario for you. He doesn’t seem to know what he is doing cosmetically. I would push for a refund and look for a highly qualified cosmetic dentist to place your new ones. If you’re not sure where to find a great cosmetic dentist, you can look on the site mynewsmile.com. They screen cosmetic dentists for their education, as well as clinical expertise and artistry. You’ll be able to trust the ability of any dentist listed on that site.

I’m sorry for your bad experience. Hopefully this can be remedied and you’ll have a smile you are proud of!

This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.