My friend and I were both getting a smile makeover. She went first because her dentist had an opening before mine. To be honest, I feel guilty now. She had a pretty smile but I was getting mine redone and just mentioned it would be fun if we both did. Now her smile looks like the guy from Wallace & Grommit. This cost her about $30,000. Is there any way for her to get her money back? It looks like she has false teeth that are too small for her mouth. I’m also a bit worried the same will happen to me. How is it some patients get gorgeous smile makeovers and others end up looking ridiculous?
I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s experience with her smile makeover. You actually hit on the crux of the problem with cosmetic dentistry. Some patients get beautiful results and others end up with cosmetic dentistry horror stories. Where is the disconnect? The issue lies with the fact that cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty. As a result, any general dentist can provide cosmetic work, regardless of the training and skill they have, or lack thereof.
Dentists who provide those stunning smiles you mentioned invest countless hours in post-doctoral training and practice in cosmetic dentistry procedures. The best cosmetic dentists have reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists have to pass stringent exams proving their technical knowledge and skill as well as visual evidence of their artistry with a large number of specific cases they’ve done. The way to ensure you get a beautiful smile makeover is to have a skilled cosmetic dentist do the work.
If your friend’s case is as bad as you say, she may be able to get a refund. This is especially true if there is a functional problem with her bite as well. The key to this is to get another cosmetic dentist to look at your smile and recognize there are problems with the results.
She’ll need to get a second opinion. When she does, make sure it is a blind second opinion. It is best if she doesn’t tell the dentist who is giving her the second opinion who it was who did the work. That is because dentists know one another. You don’t want your dentist to be put in the position of speaking negatively about a friend’s work. If they ask who did the work, just tell them you want their unbiased opinion before you share the name of the dentist.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.