I love your website, it has so much information and I hope it’ll help me to make my decisions. The reason I am emailing you is this: I don’t have my upper left lateral incisor since I was 16 y.o ( I am now 39), it was pulled out when I was 16 because it was very crooked, so my mom took me to the dentist in my country(Russia) & he pulled it out and put a bridge (crown on canine tooth).
It was so ugly that I went to another dentist same week who did a little better job & that’s how I had this bridge for about 10 years, although I didn’t like it because it was whiter then my own teeth, its bigger & bulkier.
After 10 years living in US I thought I’ll try to get a better bridge, I thought in US they do it better, so I went to my general dentist about 3 years ago & he promised me he would make it much better & I’ll be happy. After he did it, it seemed like a better one. I don’t know what was wrong with me, why I did not see right away but after some time I noticed that it still bigger, still whiter & longer then my teeth on the other side but I never told him anything. In addition he was recementing them twice after 1 month and 2 months later, after which he said I have an overbite I need to fix it with braces or it may keep falling off.
I went to orthodontist, got braces, looks like he straightened my other teeth, probably fixed overbite, anyway to make a long story short when he took them off about a months ago he offered to shave of the fake tooth because its too long and catching peoples eyes, i agreed trusting him that he will stop when metal will start showing but he never stopped to ask if I think its enough or not, finally he gave me the mirror where I could see that on the bottom of that tooth metal is very well showing, he asked me why did I get upset when it looks better now. that is the last drop, I felt abused, I trusted him but all he said “lets stay friends”. I am very disappointed & upset. He was recommended by some people & he is very nice, I didn’t expect that he would handle it like this, but again he said this is a bad bridge & I should change it anyway. I think this is none of his business, he shouldn’t have touched my teeth & suggest to do things that cost a lot of $$$ when I didn’t ask for his suggestions, I think he should have offered to compensate somehow because I didn’t plan to do any cosmetic job for a few years but now I feel that I need to do something right now.
I went to my new general dentist who suggested that I need to get another bridge maybe on all four or six front teeth so they’ll look even,also because I have a few fillings on my front teeth. I asked her about getting a bridge on one side & veneers on the other side, I don’t know maybe its not a good question,but I feel that I don’t want my teeth to be shaved off so much for a bridge,she did not recommend veneers because of my fillings. an additional information about my teeth so you can imagine it: my teeth are far not white at all & because of fillings the color is not even.
So my questions:
1.should I let my orthodontist know that I am really unhappy with what he has done & ask him to compensate somehow;
2.if I decide to get a bridge on all six front teeth will they be bulky/bigger;
3. should I get a bridge or veneers?
I know its probably hard or impossible to answer my questions without seeing them, but at least tell me what you think. Another thing, after reading your website, I see you don’t suggest to go to a general dentist,so I looked up here a cosmetic dentist in my area (name withheld). I could go there also, it’s an hour drive, but I don’t mind if its a better doctor. I am so disappointed with all previous work that I had that its hard to believe for me that I ever get results that I want & also another big things that I have to pay so much $$$ & not even sure that I will be happy with that. I would greatly appreciate if you could answer me.
Thanks you so much.
- Lynda from Maryland
Thanks for your question and I really think I can help you.
You’re a great illustration of the point I try to make on the website that 98% of dentists simply aren’t artistic. They have an engineering mentality. You’ve had three different bridges replacing this lateral incisor, and while each one has looked better than the one before, none of them have been really attractive. This is what you find with your average family dentist. They are nice, honest people but think like engineers and each dentist probably thought the work they did for you was fine, why are you complaining? And now this orthodontist says he can’t understand why it should bother you to show a little metal – he made the tooth shorter like you wanted.
Don’t let this happen any more. This is exactly the reason I run this website, to help people like you learn about cosmetic dentistry and get the work done right. The dentist you mentioned is an excellent cosmetic dentist and he would do a beautiful job for you, as would any dentist we recommend. Yes, it certainly would be worth it to take the hour drive and get this done right.
And besides that, this bridge shouldn’t have been coming loose all the time if it was made correctly. Your dentist is blaming it on your bite, but if it were made correctly with proper retention, it would stay on, in spite of your overbite.
Don’t let your dentist put a bridge across all your front teeth. That would be a terrible thing to do. All your front teeth would be ground down to pegs, and for the rest of your life, any time anything goes wrong with any one of those teeth you will need to get an entirely new bridge.
And yes, I would ask this orthodontist to compensate you for grinding down to the metal. Even an engineering-type dentist should recognize that this is a no-no, and I’ll bet he’s having some twinges of guilt over this. I think this is the type of thing that could be mentioned in a complaint to the dental board or to a peer review committee of dentists. But I would start by just asking nicely for some partial compensation for doing the new bridge. He has a point that the bridge needed to be re-done eventually, but you have a point, too, in that you were going to wait but now you have to do it right away. So maybe if he paid for half the bridge, that would be fair. There are ways to cover over the exposed metal with metal bonding techniques, but that is too sophisticated for your average dentist and requires equipment and materials that they don’t use, unless they are fairly expert cosmetic dentists.
And when you have this bridge re-done, an expert cosmetic dentist will recommend that it be done in all ceramic, not porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Click here to read about the cost of cosmetic dentistry.
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.