My daughter is in the thick of her teen years. She hated the discoloration on her front teeth. So we met with a dentist that was recommending a cosmetic solution for her two front teeth. The price wasn’t exorbitant, so we did it. Well, the dentists did tooth bonding and now they are yellow. Yes, two yellow front teeth. Ugly and embarrassing to any teen. I honestly think they look worse now than before. When I went in to complain, the dentist shaved off the bonding work and reapplied more. And it’s still yellow. It’s coming off too in some places. I think it looks terrible. Is there anything I can do? I’m having a hard time trusting this dentist to go back in? I’m not sure she knows what she is doing? Is that normal to remove it and reapply? Do you think I have a case to go to another dentist and ask reimbursement from the first?
– Betty in Kansas
Thank you for sharing your daughter’s story. It sounds like it may be time to go see another dentist. And you definitely have a case in requesting that the original dentist cover the cost for the new work. But there is no legal recourse really that the original dentist must adhere to. In most cases, some firm persuasion does the trick. Most dentists will want to keep their reputation in tact by making it right. And worse case scenario you can mention that you are meeting with a lawyer. Good luck in how you approach her. Try to keep it cordial and not threatening in nature.
Dental bonding that isn’t done by an experienced cosmetic dentist can be mediocre at best. Unfortunately, it sounds like you had to learn the hard way. This work truly takes an artistic eye for creating beauty. Not just any dentist can do this kind of work. But how would you know? Fundamentally, general dentists are trained to fix things. They are solving some sort of functional problem. Whereas, an excellent cosmetic dentist is passionate about creating beautiful, natural-looking solutions with an emphasis on esthetics. In order to be an expert cosmetic dentist, extensive advanced training is required. Some general dentists dabble in cosmetic dentistry but don’t go to great lengths to hone their skill. And since cosmetic dentistry isn’t a regulated field within dentistry, it makes it very difficult for an average patient to know the difference. Only 1-2% of dentists really do beautiful cosmetic dentistry. So moving forward, check the dentist’s credentials and ask to see their portfolio of work for cases similar to your daughter.
Porcelain veneers may be a good solution for your daughter. But do not let the original dentist do the veneers. It doesn’t sound like this dentist has the ability or heart to give you a beautiful result. Or since your daughter is young, direct dental bonding by another cosmetic dentist may turn out much better. If you find the right dentist with the right credentials, yield to their recommendation.