I have a chipped tooth which was previously repaired with dental bonding. That bonding fell off, due to age is my guess. I went to my new family dentist (because of a move) and she said there was no way to replace the bonding because the tooth had too much of a chip on it. She wanted to place a dental crown but I was uncomfortable with that because of how much tooth structure would have to be removed. I asked for a porcelain veneer and she reluctantly agreed. I should have taken that reluctance as a clue but didn’t, to my great regret right now. When the porcelain veneer was first tried on it was a little whiter than my adjacent teeth. That was expected because we planned on whitening the teeth after getting the veneer. It looked fine other than that. I got a good look at it and signed off on them bonding it on. When the permanent bonding went on, I didn’t get another chance to look at it. Though, they told me it looked great. It wasn’t until I arrived home that I noticed the veneered tooth was a little lower than the other tooth. Plus, it looks bulkier. I can tell there is some gap between the tooth and the porcelain veneer. I call the office and they said the tooth probably just shifted. I don’t know what to do from here. Do you have any recommendations for me?
I am so sorry this happened to you. This is another example of a general dentist in over their heads. Let’s start with the replacement issue. If you could have dental bonding on your tooth with 1/5 of the tooth chipped before, why not now? I’ll tell you why. She doesn’t know how to do bonding. Instead, she suggests you have a porcelain crown done. That’s because she knows how to do that procedure. You wisely didn’t like that idea. Why unnecessarily remove healthy tooth structure?
You counter with getting a porcelain veneer. She isn’t crazy about that, probably because she knows her limitations. But, rather than tell you that, which would be embarrassing, she goes ahead with it.
Now we’ll move on to your porcelain veneers. If you were going to whiten your teeth so you’d have a brighter smile with your porcelain veneers, your dentist should have had the common sense to have you do the teeth whitening before your veneers were placed, then let the color calm down for a bit. After that is when it would have been time to design your porcelain veneers.
Now, you said they looked fine when you tried them on. Then, when they bonded them on they didn’t let you see them. What was up with that? Any time you have cosmetic work done, patients are anxious to see the finished product. Plus, you’d think she’d want to show off her handy work. My guess is they bonded and cured the porcelain veneer on THEN noticed the veneer was lower than the adjacent tooth. They didn’t want to show you that, so they just told you it looked fine. I can’t tell you how much this annoys me. It’s totally unfair to the patient.
Plus, that guff they gave you about your tooth moving. No. It’s not going to shift that way and certainly not that quickly. This was dishonest on their part.
Where Do You Go From Here?
The only thing to do is get this porcelain veneer replaced. I don’t know that I’d trust this dentist to re-do it. My suggestion is you get a second opinion from a truly skilled cosmetic dentist. Look for someone who is an AACD accredited dentist. Make sure they take pictures of everything which is wrong with these porcelain veneers.
I think your dentist is aware of all that is wrong with this, so with a little pressure from another dentist, you shouldn’t have much trouble getting your refund in order to have this done by a dentist who knows what they’re doing when it comes to cosmetic work.
This blog is brought to you by La Jolla Dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.