I have four upper teeth that are misaligned and crowded. I went to a dentist for a smile makeover, and she recommended cosmetic dentistry as a faster solution than braces. The dentist said she would use bonding on my left lateral incisor, a porcelain veneer on my right lateral incisor, and shape my teeth for an even smile. She completed the word and said she shaped my lower teeth, which we never discussed. Her fee was almost $10,000.
One veneer is too small and has a gap near the gumline. And my teeth are still crowded and uneven. My dentist said that she overestimated what a veneer and bonding would do for my teeth, and now I need porcelain crowns and root canals for an additional $7000.
I quickly dismissed myself from her dental chair. I scheduled a second opinion with another dentist who says that he would recommend four veneers, but no root canals or crowns. His cost is $5200.
I would like to know how to get a refund from the dentist who did the veneer and bonding before giving away $5200 if this second dentist has a mistake in judgment. Thanks. Garland from Oregon
We’re sorry to hear about your experience with a dentist who didn’t produce what she promised. You should be entitled to a refund. But you don’t sound confident about the second dentist either. How do you know that he will complete your smile makeover correctly? Dental schools don’t teach how to produce beautiful smile makeovers with porcelain veneers.
A Third Opinion or Cosmetic Dentistry
We strongly recommend that you get a third opinion. Look for a dentist with advanced training in cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers. Check for credentials with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.
Getting a Refund from Your Dentist
Before you request a refund, it helps to have the backing of an expert cosmetic dentist who will document the problems with the first dentist’s work. Dentists are often sensitive to what their peers say about their work. Ask your new, experienced cosmetic dentist if they are willing to call your former dentist and explain why a refund is appropriate.
Additional options to help motive the dentist to issue a refund include:
- Posting negative online reviews
- Reporting the issue to the state dental board
- Hiring an attorney
Brian LeSage, DDS, FAGD, FAACD, of the Beverly Hills Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry, sponsors this post.