I’m a little frustrated about a situation with my new dentist and think I just need to get an outside perspective. Several years ago I had dental bonding done to repair a small chip on a front tooth. The bonding has been fine and I’ve always been happy with it. Recently it broke off, completely due to me taking a nasty little fall. Between the time I got the bonding done originally and now, I’ve relocated to another state, which meant another dentist. I’ve always been fine with this dentist until now. Though, this is the first time I’ve tried any cosmetic work with her. I needed to get the bonding repaired. She said bonding can’t be re-done and wanted to do a crown. I refused a crown because I didn’t want to grind down healthy tooth structure. I suggested a porcelain veneer instead. I’ve been told they’re even more beautiful than bonding. She agreed. When it came in she cemented it in place and said it looked great. She was running behind schedule so I didn’t get to look at it until I got to my car. When I did I was very unhappy with it. The way it was bonded not only has a gap between the veneer and my tooth, but it’s longer than my other tooth. I look snaggletoothed. I went back into the office immediately because I didn’t want to go to work the next day looking like that. They insist it looks fine and said once it’s bonded, nothing can be done. Is this normal?
Jennifer S. – Fayetteville, AR
There are several things wrong with this scenario. First, your dentist wasn’t honest with you about your dental bonding. There’s no reason why the bonding couldn’t be repaired unless your fall caused your chip to become much larger. That would also explain her suggestion of a dental crown. However, if it was close to the same size there is either some incompetence or dishonesty going on.
It sounds like she’s not a skilled cosmetic dentist and is trying to pass off the flaws with false information. Here’s the good news. In most cases, it is hard to get a refund on cosmetic work because the standard is whether it is functional, not whether it is beautiful. You are in the fortunate case where it isn’t functional. That gap between your porcelain veneer and your tooth is dangerous to the health of your tooth. Things can slip into the space causing severe decay. You can definitely get a refund.
Once you get the refund, I’d go see a better cosmetic dentist. One with real expertise and artistry. Look at their smile galleries. You want to get an idea of what type of results they get. Many of them even have a beautiful smile guarantee. So, if you’re not thrilled with the smile, he will be worked on further.
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