I’m so sad. My porcelain veneers look terrible. I have been seeing the same dentist since I was five years old. I love going to see him. When I was in for a regular checkup, I mentioned that I had a really big project at work. It was an opportunity for me to expand my role at and I would be highly visible. He offered to do porcelain veneers to improve my smile. And I didn’t think twice about it. I have always trusted him. I have only ever had positive experiences at the dentist.
So, he did the work. Well, I guess that was a big mistake. I am so unhappy with the results. They are oddly shaped for one. The color isn’t right. I don’t know how to explain it. But, they look fake. The best way to explain it is that it looks like I have Chiclets glued to the front of my teeth.
But, the thing that is most frustrating is that I can’t talk normally. My tongue keeps getting stuck on them and I sound funny. This is a nightmare. I’m not only paranoid about only how they look, but I’m embarrassed that I sound funny. What do I do? I don’t want to damage our relationship. But, I’m mortified. I have to get them fixed or taken off.
-Elizabeth in Louisiana
Oh no! This is an unfortunate situation. The bad news is that the porcelain veneers cannot be removed. When porcelain veneers are placed, a tiny bit of the enamel is removed so that they can be permanently bonded in place. When porcelain veneers are don’t correctly, the tooth preparation steps ensures they look completely seamless and natural-looking. But, it also means that they cannot be removed. Your smile won’t look like it used to. Also, your teeth would be more susceptible to decay.
You have learned the hard way. There is a fundamental difference between cosmetic dentists and general dentists. It sounds like your general dentist is a wonderful dentist, seeing that you’ve been going to him since you were a child. But, he simply may not have the training and experience to do beautiful porcelain veneers.
To be an excellent cosmetic dentist requires extensive training beyond dental school. A cosmetic dentist is passionate about creating beauty, in the same way an artist is obsessed with creating art. Think of your smile like a canvas. That is how a true cosmetic dentist is motivated. They want nothing more than for you to fall in love with your new smile.
I know you don’t want to hear this. But, you probably need to see a different dentist to get this straightened out. One that is highly experienced in cosmetic dentistry. If it was only a matter of fixing the speech issue, your dentist may be able to make some adjustments. But, it sounds like there are many things wrong with the smile design. So, the porcelain veneers need to be replaced.
You need to talk to your dentist. He may end up offering to redo them for you. But, it is not in your best interest. He probably had the best intentions. He’s just not equipped to do the highly-skilled, aesthetic work that is needed. You may be able to see if he will refund you or give you some money back, so you can go elsewhere to get the smile you deserve.
You shouldn’t feel bad. Honestly, it’s probably him who will feel really bad. You can continue seeing him for your routine care. But, for the porcelain veneers and any future cosmetic dentistry, be sure you find a reputable cosmetic dentist.
Look for one that has many before and after photographs to share with you. Ask about their training, what other services they provide and how they will improve your case. Good luck to you!