I would appreciate your opinion. I had nine “ceramic” veneers done on my lower teeth, five weeks ago. When they first came back I told the dentist that the color was too white. My dentist sent them back and had the lab change the color. I asked that the new color should match my exiting teeth which are shade A-2.
When they came back, he glued them in without showing me or discussing the color.
I think they are still too white. My son was getting married five days after the permanent placement, so it seem futile to discuss at the time, especially since they were already placed.
Then three weeks after placement, one of the veneers broke in half (from the bottom). The dentist said my teeth will be replaced for two years w/o charge. Is the amount of time reasonable? Do I have reason to be concerned about the long term sustainability of this investment? Can an objective person look at my teeth and not notice the difference in color? If so, what is my possible recourse? Is ceramic more durable/stronger then porcelain? I had some gum coming through my teeth. Would veneers be made to “cover” them? This was not done.
Can one determine if the material that was used is defective? I have the broken half.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Benjamin from New York
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I’m not sure I’m understanding correctly what happened here. Are you saying that your dentist bonded on these veneers and you weren’t aware that he was doing that? You say that he put them on the second time without showing you. Did you agree to that, that he didn’t show you? Or did he do that without asking you?
If you didn’t give your consent to having them put on, the dentist could be in real trouble over this. Consent is key to any dental or medical treatment—you have to consent to any treatment done to you or it is malpractice. And even if you did give a passive nod to your dentist to go ahead and bond them, a good cosmetic dentist will never bond on a set of veneers without being absolutely sure that you love how they look. Further, missing the color twice? I would never put up with that in a situation like this. This is not a challenging color situation, what you have described to me.
And the veneer breaking after placement, this complicates your dentist’s situation. The veneer breaking isn’t because the veneer itself wasn’t strong enough—it’s because it wasn’t bonded properly. Porcelain veneers by themselves are very thin and fragile. They get their strength by being bonded to the underlying tooth. You can often break them in your fingers before they are bonded to the tooth, but once they are bonded they are very hard and strong enough to withstand normal biting forces and other functional stresses. Porcelain is one of several ceramics that are used for veneers, so I’m not sure what you’re meaning by ceramic veneers. Most other ceramics are stronger than porcelain, but, as I explained, that isn’t the problem. It’s the bonding strength.
About the color being noticeable—lower veneers that are whiter than uppers look particularly funny. You can usually get away with the lowers being a little darker than the uppers because they tend to be further back in the mouth and thus we expect them to look a little darker. If they’re whiter than your upper teeth, I wouldn’t put up with that.
I think you should go to an expert cosmetic dentist for a second opinion and then pursue getting a refund from your dentist and using the money to have this done right. I believe you have a fair amount of leverage with this dentist. You could report him to the dental board or even get a lawyer involved, and I think it would be in his best interest to do whatever he can to satisfy you. You also may want to read my post, “How to ask for a refund from your dentist.”
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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.