When I decided to get porcelain veneers, I was expecting a beautiful, white smile. Boy, was I wrong. This whole process has been so frustrating and I’m beginning to think I’m just not meant to have a dazzling smile. My dentist got the color totally wrong the first time, so when he offered to redo them, he let me speak directly to the lab so I could tell them exactly how white I wanted them. I picked out the exact shade, but when he bonded them, I noticed the front teeth looked yellow. When I questioned it, the lab tech said the dentist told him to add a little color. Of course, my dentist is denying it. Since they were already bonded, I asked if it was possible to polish out some of the yellow, but my dentist refused to do it and said it would remove the porcelain. Really? Am I stuck with yellow teeth or is there a way to make them white? How about teeth whitening? — Samantha
You’re in a tough spot. Unfortunately, teeth whitening doesn’t work on porcelain veneers. If the yellow was put on as superficial stain, any expert cosmetic dentist could polish or grind the color out and then re-polish the porcelain veneer. If I were you, I wouldn’t ask your dentist to do this because it sounds like he may not know what he is doing.
There are a lot of great, honest dentists out there (yours included) but in this case, it’s evident he is not an artist. Many of these dentists also learn in dental school to have an attitude that their patients don’t know anything about appearance-related issues. Even when you’ve communicated to him exactly what you want, he’s still not getting it and is only doing what he thinks is best.
It would not be out of the question to ask for the veneers to be done a third time. When you’re paying that kind of money, a dentist shouldn’t overrule you on the color you want. And what’s even worse is that he bonded them to your teeth without allowing you to look at or approve them. It became malpractice when he bonded those yellow veneers to your teeth without consent.
The best scenario would be that you could get a refund from this dentist and find an expert cosmetic dentist who can give you the smile you want – in the exact color that you want. If he won’t give you a refund, tell him that you believe he has violated your right of informed consent and demand that he re-do them a third time. When the new ones are made, insist that he let you have a good long look at them before bonding. Bring along a friend and have them look, too. When you’re absolutely satisfied, make sure he uses a clear bond resin and that no tint is added. Good luck!
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Stephen Doan. Find out more about the services he provides by visiting his La Jolla cosmetic dental website.