I saved up for years for a smile makeover. I was very specific with my dentist about what I wanted. When they came back the first time I could tell right away they didn’t look anything like I wanted. I didn’t even have to look that closely to know they were way darker than I wanted and didn’t look the right shape. They were so bulky I was certain they would make me look like I had horse teeth. I asked him to send them back. Unfortunately, he sent them to the same lab. When they came back, I couldn’t get that good a look at them on my teeth. They just held them up for me. I told them I’d rather know what they would look like on me first. They assured me that they would be able to make any adjustments I wanted after they bonded them on. That turned out to be untrue. I’ve been trying to get a refund, but they don’t seem to be returning my calls. Do I have any recourse?
I hate hearing stories like this. It gives true cosmetic dentists a bad name. One of the problems in dentistry today is that cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty. This means that any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist and do the procedures. Unfortunately, doing smile makeovers is not taught in dental school In order for dentists to develop the skills needed to do this well requires a significant amount of post-doctoral training. Most dentists will do enough to get by and learn how to “do” the procedure, but not enough to get beautiful results.
A second problem for cosmetic dentistry is the standard for refunds has more to do with whether or not it is functional than attractive. You do have one good thing going for you and that is that they misrepresented that they would be able to make changes after they bonded them on.
My suggestion is you see an AACD accredited dentist and get a second opinion on your porcelain veneers. These are the best cosmetic dentists in the country and will be able to give you an expert assessment. Sometimes, when a dentist will not listen to a patient, they will listen to a peer so as not to look bad. One tip when getting your second opinion. Don’t tell them who did your smile makeover, just ask their opinion of them. Dentists know one another and you don’t want them to feel conflicted about denigrating a friend’s work. They can give an unbiased opinion and then you can talk to them about who did the work. It’s ideal if you can maybe go to a nearby, but different, city so they have less chance of being good friends.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.