Dear Dr. Hall,
Last year, I had gotten six veneers on top and two on bottom. After the dentist cemented them I realized that some of them had brush marks left from the lab. I told the dentist that I was unhappy. He tried shaving and polishing the veneers over several visits, and that only made them worse, as it destroyed the shine, made them fuzzy and irritated my mouth. After much arguing, he agreed to redo the four veneers that he had tried to polish, initially asking for a full price, but later agreeing to do it free of charge because I argued that it was his fault from initially not inspecting the veneers and later making the situation worse by trying to shave and polish them.
Second time around, when the veneers came back from the lab, some did not fit, all were a wrong shade and did not match the rest of my veneers. They had to be redone twice, to finally look decent. On the third attempt, the veneers fit, but were still a little off in color. The dentist told me “so what, the color is not that different.” There were also a small gap between two veneers, he also told me “so what, real teeth have gaps too.” Fed up with the unprofessionalism, I got the veneers cemented, since he told me that it was the best he could do. Two weeks later, the veneer that initially had a gap fell out. He put it back in. The next morning the veneer fell again. He just cemented it back on, telling me that this time around he etched the veneer better and it will not fall again. The gap got even bigger and I was very unhappy. I kept on insisting to get the veneer redone, he told me to “get out of his office” and that he is releasing me of his care.
One week after he cemented the veneer back on for the second time, the veneer fell again for the third time. I have visited several dentist and they all told me that in general my dentist has done a bad job and that all my veneers need to be redone. Out of the top six veneers, two old ones have huge spaces between the veneer and my gum and the yellow cement is showing. The four that he had redone also have visible spaces between the veneer and the gum, the veneers are discolored, one keeps on falling and one is crooked. Two of my teeth on top have become extremely sensitive, not only to cold and hot water, but even to air. One dentist told me it could be due to bad bonding. The cement on two bottom veneers has turned brown, one veneer is placed higher than the other.
I have seen three different densitst and they are all telling me to get the veneers redone, but I am concerned about redoing the veneers for the third time since I am only 28 years old. What are the risks of redoing the veneers three time in two years? What is the best solution in my case?
I have also sent a letter to my previous dentist, expressing my dissatisfaction and asked for a refund, but he has not responded. Should I pursue a civil action against him or file a complaint with the dental board? I would at least like to get a refund and be able to redo the veneers. I want to also make sure that this dentist does not do this to anyone else. He is extremely unprofessional and rude. I also feel that he should not represent himself as a cosmetic dentist, since he obviously scewed up my veneers. What is the best course of action? Thank you in advance for your time.
All the best,
Liana from California
It sounds like you’ve been around and around with this dentist. I’d like to try to help you, but I need something more from you first.
Anyway, in general I think your frustration comes from working with the wrong dentist. You need to understand that a dental degree and a dental license don’t make a dentist an artist. Cosmetic dentistry is art, and they don’t teach it in dental school in the regular curriculum. Dental schools are designed to teach dentists how to fix teeth that are broken, not how to create beautiful smiles. And because the profession will not declare cosmetic dentistry a specialty, any dentist, without any extra training, can claim to be a cosmetic dentist, and it’s all legal.
The bonding technique is only a small part of what you need to have this done right. Remember that when they were done the first time, they were apparently bonded correctly, because they stayed on your teeth, but they were ugly and then he made them fuzzy and you asked to have them removed. If you hadn’t done that, they would still be on your teeth today, it seems to me. Is that right? So now you want to go to a different dentist who will bond them correctly. But how will they look, and, if they stay on, what will you do when you don’t like how they look?
You’re asking about the risks of doing porcelain veneers a third time and you are only 23. There isn’t a single answer to that question. If you are just going to a “dentist” to get this done, then the risks are high. It all depends on how you are picking the professional who is going to do this for you. In the hands of the wrong dentist, this is very risky. In the hands of the right dentist, there is practically no risk.
If you’d like me to help you with this, why don’t you write back and tell me the name of the dentist you plan to go to to have this fixed, and I’ll try to tell you something of the risks I think you’ll encounter. I have resources where I can look up a dentist’s training and get other information about them that helps me evaluate these things.
Once you find the right dentist to re-do this for you, I can help you work with the previous dentist. But your problem here is that cosmetic dentistry is not a legally distinct specialty, so to pursue any action against this dentist you need more of a case than that you just don’t like how they look. That is why it is so important to pick the right dentist in the first place, because when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, often you have no recourse. Yes, he was promoting himself as a cosmetic dentist, but MOST of the dentists who promote themselves as cosmetic dentists aren’t very good at it. I would think you could get a refund, though, but it will depend on how you go about it, and you need another dentist to back you up, first. So let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help.
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