I am wondering what I should about the porcelain veneers I recently had placed… I am so unhappy with them. I can see two problems with them: 1) my canine teeth look crooked and 2) I noticed a little line above my left front tooth and wonder if it is my natural tooth surface showing through. When I went back to my dentist with my concerns, he refused to do anything about the line because he said it was barely noticeable. I spent so much money and now I am afraid that area might decay. I chose porcelain veneers because I had old bonding that needed to be replaced, but now I am just as insecure with my smile as I was before. Is it really not a big deal and I am just being difficult? What should I do? — Lizzi in Atlanta
It sounds like you have a couple of things going on here. To address the issue of your dissatisfaction with how your smile looks, it is quite disappointing that your dentist didn’t do a better job of letting you see what your smile was going to look like before permanently bonding it. Good cosmetic dentists want to always make sure you see exactly how your porcelain veneers will look, and will even let another family member or a friend look at them with you. They may even offer a beautiful smile guarantee because their first priority is making sure you absolutely love your new smile.
As a patient, you have a right to ask him to re-do what you don’t like… particularly the crooked canine teeth. As far as the line at your gumline, unless there is a groove or ledge that could “catch” decay, you tooth is not going to be vulnerable, so he does have a point there.
The other issue at hand is the difference between a true cosmetic dentist and a general dentist who “likes” to do cosmetic dentistry. A good cosmetic dentist understands: 1) that he or she is not just treating a patient, they are treating the self image of the patient, and 2) if the patient is unhappy, he or she has failed. Good cosmetic dentists will want you to leave the office absolutely loving your smile, and if you don’t they will make any and all adjustment needed to achieve that end.