Dear Dr. Hall,
Thank you for your extremely thoughtful and comprehensive website. It is a godsend.
One month ago general dentist added some length to my top lateral teeth using composite material to “even out my smile.” However the composites were too translucent and now my laterals have a bottom translucency that I never had before. I even went back to him a second time to try and finesse the job. The dentist defended his work on my teeth, and then it took several tries before he said “Live with that a couple of days and see what you think.” I recently had photos made and my right lateral actually had to be retouched, as it looked “grayish” at the bottom, from the translucency.
My question then is-can I now go to a cosmetic dentist for a consultation/2nd opinion to see if he can make it less translucent? Will a reputable Cosmetic Dentist fix a “bad job?”
Thank you so much for your time and attention, Dr. Hall. I really appreciate it.
Sincerely, Amy (aka “Worried”) in New Jersey
Yes, cosmetic dentists often have to fix the attempts by general dentists who are trying to be cosmetic dentists. And this issue of translucency is one that general dentists can have a lot of difficulty with—they just don’t understand these color issues because they were never taught.
The ethical question in fixing prior dental work is this: The first duty of the dentist is to the patient. A dentist shouldn’t unnecessarily criticize the work of another dentist. This is an important issue, because many dentists, in trying to convince a patient to come to them, will plant doubts about previous dental work. What an ethical dentist will do is merely address the current situation for the sake of the welfare of the patient without criticizing the first dentist, unless there has been clear harm done to the patient.
We have some excellent cosmetic dentists listed on mynewsmile.com in New Jersey. I am confident that any dentist listed on our web site would know how to fix your situation so your lateral incisors look perfectly natural. We monitor their work by having them send photographs, and one thing we always look at in their dental work is the correct handling of this translucency issue on the incisal edges of the teeth.
I hope this is helpful,