A year and nine months ago I had a smile makeover. I have a small mouth and my front teeth were tilted inward a bit but not much. I did have an overbite and some of my back teeth were missing. The dentist I went to capped the front teeth and did 5 mini implants for the back teeth.
Since doing that I can’t smile. The front teeth are too big and my overbite is way worse than it was originally. My mouth is small and I look really weird when I try to smile. The only thing I can compare my smile to is Wallace & Gromit. I had a pretty smile my whole life and now I look goofy and I’m embarrassed. What can I do? It’s really ruined my self esteem because people have asked me if they were dentures made too big. I spent $28,000 to look this way.
I couldn’t address this with my dentist right afterward because when he was done I left right away for Europe, and I have just returned.
– Claudia from Phoenix
I wasn’t familiar with Wallace & Grommit, so I had to look them up. When I see the pictures of Wallace, I can see what you mean.
Anyway, I’m not going to have anything profound to tell you. You know what is wrong and unfortunately you’re going to have to bite the bullet and have this work re-done. And when you do that, you’re going to need to make sure you have the right dentist doing this. You’ve learned the hard way that there is a big difference between a competent family dentist and an excellent cosmetic dentist. Read through this website to educate yourself first about cosmetic dentistry, and then pick a cosmetic dentist from my recommended list and you should be fine. I have three in the Phoenix area that I recommend.
Can you get your money back? I think there’s a chance you may be able to get some of it back. You’ll have to work that out with your new expert cosmetic dentist. Whether or not you can apply any leverage to the dentist who did this depends on the quality of the work he or she did. If the work is technically sound and the only problem is the appearance, that is a tough situation. Though if the appearance is awful enough, you may have leverage. You didn’t complain any about the function, so it sounds to me like the back teeth are fine. If there are functional problems, it will be easier to get money back.
How do you apply leverage to the dentist? There are three possible ways. One is that you can sue. If you have a case for malpractice, that is strong leverage. Another way that is fairly strong is to threaten to complain to the dental board. A relatively weak way that can be effective in some cases is to threaten to leave a negative online review.
I’ll add you to my accumulation of cosmetic dentistry horror stories and hopefully that will be helpful to others.
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. 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 advanced internet marketing for dentists.
I think patients with cases like this should always report it to the dental board. There could be multiple offenses, but if it’s not reported, who will know that it’s an ongoing issue? The dentist will continue taking advantage of patients without being reprimanded.