To Dr. Hall
I just got a new porcelain crown and a new porcelain veneer to my front upper teeth. The porcelain crown looks white and ok, but the porcelain veneer is yellow and uneven. Has a bulk on the top and a small dent in it and is rough on the back. The color doesn’t match.
I am very worried about all this, since I paid 2,045 dollars so far including the Zoom teeth whitening that was done prior to the procedure. I called the office and was told to come in to talk with the dentist. I am very worried he will just talk me into something, but not fix it. Do I have a right to get this veneer replaced? I paid up front in full and signed papers that I received the crown/veneer and the Zoom teeth whitening. I also signed a paper that states that I am satisfied with the color and look of the new porcelain crown and porcelain veneer. That was done last Thursday and in the light of the office it looked okay but outside in normal day light it is a very visible difference in color.
I would appreciate any advice on how to go about this mess.
Silvia in California
There’s a principle your dentist maybe doesn’t understand called color metamerism, where some tooth restorative materials look one color in one light and another color under a different light. Genuine cosmetic dentists are trained in dealing with color metamerism. They will get special lighting for their offices—there are special color-correct fluorescent bulbs that will show these color discrepancies so that two teeth that match in the office will still match under outside light, incandescent light, or cool or warm fluorescent light.
I would start out nicely, mentioning the roughness on the back, and that outside, in natural light, the colors don’t match and asking why those colors don’t match when they look fine in the office. Then when you leave the office write down everything he says so you’ll remember it accurately.
After you have that, then call the dentist I recommended for a second opinion and compare notes, and go from there. If you’re going to put any pressure on this dentist, it helps to have another dentist back you up. If your current dentist doesn’t have a good answer as to why the colors don’t match in daylight when they match in the office or doesn’t seem to understand the principle of color metamerism, then you may have some grounds to ask that he pay for a re-do.
As far as the toothache pain, that should be investigated. If it comes from the tightness between the teeth, that will resolve by itself in time. But it could come from irritation of the teeth during the bonding process, in which case it may need immediate attention.
Additional information for the benefit of our web visitors:
Below is an example of a porcelain crown matched to porcelain veneers, which illustrates how perfectly they can match when done by an expert cosmetic dentist. If you look at the before picture, you will see that there is one porcelain-fused to metal crown with the characteristic black line at the gumline. Dr. Larry Addleson, of San Diego, California, replaced this with a beautiful all-porcelain crown and then used porcelain veneers, artistically shaped to give the illusion of a straight smile.
Notice that this patient is missing his right lateral incisor. Dr. Addleson was able to create the illusion that he has a complete set of front teeth.
For more information about Dr. Addleson, click here.
Click here to read the other “cosmetic dentistry mistakes.”
More information about porcelain veneers:
- To read about the porcelain veneer procedure, click here.
- How can I get rid of the stains on the edges of my porcelain veneers?
- If my porcelain veneers look fake, what can I do?
- On our cosmetic dentistry costs page we have fee survey information about the costs of porcelain veneers.
- Mark in Michigan got four porcelain veneers, then later got six more. The porcelain veneers don’t match.
- You may want to read our page on post-operative care of porcelain veneers. There are tips here for patients and for dental hygienists. You may be surprised how many dental hygienists don’t know these tips for post-operative care.