I had porcelain veneers done almost 20 years ago. I loved them but it was time to get them replaced as they had started to show their age. My old dentist had retired and I used his replacement. I wish I had not now. It has been a completely different experience. First, even though I told him I wanted them to match my last porcelain veneers exactly, he made some changes. He used a different brand of porcelain veneers he called Lumineers because he said they were thinner and he was placing these over my old veneers. That sounded okay to me. But, then he also put a strain on the Lumineers, which he did not mention ahead of time. When they came in I told him I wanted whiter and he said to give it a couple of days and see what I think then. He felt they looked more “natural” this way. I did and still didn’t like them. He told me to come in and he would “fix” it, if that is what you would call it. His fix was to sand off the front which had the staining. Now I am left with this dull underneath. What do I do?
There are a couple of problems going on here. First, the fact that he put Lumineers over old porcelain veneers is a problem. Porcelain sticks much better to natural tooth structure than to other porcelain. Now not only will you have to worry about the bonding of your new veneers failing, but your old veneers are eventually going to wear down as well and he attached the new ones to them. It is just as much work to place new over old as it is to just do them over. It doesn’t make sense that he did it the other way.
I’m not surprised he placed a stain on them to “make them look natural,” nor that he told you to give it a few days and you would get used to it. What he really meant by that is he didn’t want to do this over and he was counting on you to give up. Most patients don’t have your courage to stand up for themselves. A true cosmetic dentist would not bond on your porcelain veneers until trying them on with a temporary try-in paste and then letting you see and approve them. If you weren’t happy with the color he would never ask you to give it some time, but rather would send them straight back to the lab to be re-done.
He never did this. He may not even have the experience to know about a temporary try-in paste. When he suggested Lumineers, I knew you probably were not getting a highly skilled cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. Any dentist can try the procedures regardless of their skill level. This particular brand of porcelain veneers is marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.
Under normal circumstances, you would have no recourse. The standard of care in dentistry is functional. They don’t have to be beautiful, even for cosmetic work. However, once he ground down your Lumineers, they were no longer functional. He removed the glazing on them which is what protects them. Because of that, you have the right to ask for a refund.
Once that is secured, you can use that money and go to a true cosmetic dentist to have these re-done. Look for a dentist listed on the mynewsmile.com website. Each of those dentists are pre-screened for both their technical knowledge and artistry. They can not pay to be listed. Instead, they have to be skilled cosmetic dentists.