I need some advice. I’ve been in tears since getting my porcelain veneers. This has not gone as expected and I feel like a guinea pig. The first unexpected thing came when I discovered she ground my teeth down to little dark nubs. I thought porcelain veneers didn’t need to grind down your teeth that much. But, that isn’t the worst part. I start getting this bad smell, then one of them pops off, usually one with a sloped back edge. They always have me come in and glue them back on, but it’s impossible to live this way and it’s been going on since November of 2019. I spent the holidays with family and a missing front tooth. I looked like a hillbilly. I’m too terrified to go anywhere. I’ve been wearing a mask everywhere, not because it’s required in my state. It’s not, but because I’m always afraid of a tooth coming off. Now she wants to try something new, but I’ve lost confidence. What do I do?
This is absolutely horrible dentistry and I believe it will be considered malpractice. Here are the problems.
She Misrepresented the Procedure she Did
You were right with your hunch she ground down your teeth too much. This is because she gave you porcelain crowns and not porcelain veneers. Here is what it looks like when your teeth are prepared for porcelain veneers:
You’ll notice only an amount a little more than the depth of a fingernail is being removed. This ends up being about half a millimeter. What it sounds like your dentist did is quite a bit of overkill — more of an aggressive removal of tooth structure. This is typically what is done for porcelain crowns. Here is an example of what that looks like and it sounds exactly like you described:
Another thing which points me to crowns instead of porcelain veneers is you said the back was sloped on the ones that are popping off. Porcelain veneers don’t cover the back of your teeth. Crowns do. Unfortunately, you are now stuck with crowns for the remainder of your life because of her misrepresentation. This will work in your favor in a way I’ll explain a bit later.
Her second big problem is she failed in basic care even with the dental crowns. While not all dentists are expected to know how to properly do porcelain veneers, dental crowns are a different story. Every dentist was taught crowns in dental school. In this, she is grossly failing basic dental standards. When a crown has proper retention it doesn’t even need bonding to stay on. Yet, with her, even with bonding she can’t get the crown to stay on.
As for the smell you are experiencing, this derives from the lack of retention of the crowns. As your crowns are coming loose, this allows bacteria to get in there and fester, putting what is left of the tooth underneath in jeopardy.
All of these combine for a great malpractice suit against her. However, I’m guessing you just want this fixed with a beautiful smile. Here’s how to get that.
Getting the Smile You Deserve
I want you to find an AACD accredited dentist. These are the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country and are more than capable of giving you an absolutely stunning smile. When you find the dentist you want, you need to tell your dentist that you are asking her to pay for this case to be redone properly. Do NOT accept a refund. I believe it will cost more to get it repaired than your refund is worth.
Hopefully, she’ll do the right thing. If not, let her know you’ll be taking her to court, which will likely give you a substantial reward for the repair, plus more for the penalty of permanent damage to your teeth as well as the emotional toll this has taken on you. Her insurance company will tell her to settle quickly.
This blog is brought to you by Naperville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.