My fiance has always hated her smile. Her teeth are healthy, but her parents never took her to a dentist so all the chips and gaps were left. She hasn’t said anything, but I know she is worried about our wedding pictures. I wanted to get her a smile makeover as a surprise. She was thrilled, but I’m wondering if we were taken. This dentist said that he was a cosmetic dentist specialist and suggested porcelain veneers. We spent a fortune and the teeth are so bulky that she is now having trouble speaking. They also stick out past her lower lip. He said she’ll get used to it, but she should be able to talk normally, I would think. It’s almost impossible for her to close her mouth now. Is there anything we can do about this?
I’m sorry this happened to you guys. First, you should know that there is no such thing as a cosmetic dentist specialist. In fact, cosmetic dentistry isn’t even adequately taught in dental school. For a dentist to learn how to do it well they need to have post-doctoral training. Despite that, any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of the amount of training they invested in. So calling himself a specialist was a bit deceptive. The closest I would come to calling anyone a specialist would be an AACD accredited dentist. These would be among the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country.
In most circumstances, just not liking your smile makeover isn’t enough to get you a refund. The standard of care is that it be functional, the dental board won’t care if it is beautiful. I know that doesn’t make sense. After all, what you paid for was a smile makeover. How it looks should matter. Your fiance’s case will be an exception because her dentist messed up big time. If the teeth are so bulky that she can’t speak properly and can’t shut her lips, then it is not functional.
Lip incompetence can lead to decay as well. Believe it or not, saliva is one of our biggest weapons against tooth decay. Saliva contains strong bacteria fighting minerals. However, if her lips can’t close, then she’ll have dry mouth, which means less saliva. The result will be an increase of tooth decay.
Here is what you need to do. Go see an AACD accredited dentist and get a second opinion on your fiances’ case. If it is as bad as I think, he or she can help you get a refund. Then, let the accredited dentist redo her porcelain veneers. She’ll get a smile she is proud to share on her wedding day.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.