In 2014, I received a crown for my right center front tooth. My dentist got the color and the size of the crown wrong. A friend told me about a well-known dentist who replaced my crown in June 2019, but the crown looked gray. He did a second crown, and the color was better, but the tooth was noticeably too long. The second dentist told me that I needed Invisalign, which he provided. My treatment is complete. Now I have a gap between my front teeth. But I also have anxiety now, which has never been an issue. In August, I scheduled an appointment for a third opinion and planned to get an exam, but I was so anxious that the dentist told me to reschedule the appointment when I have time for sedation.
Last month I had two consultations with two more dentists. When I mentioned the second dentist’s name, who left the gap between my teeth, they were skeptical about my report of what happened. I am beginning to think that I need to leave town to find another dentist to correct my smile. Am I too picky? Thanks. Daina from MS
We’re sorry that you’ve had two negative experiences and that they led to dental anxiety. Although your second dentist is well-known, it doesn’t mean that he’s a talented, artistic cosmetic dentist who produces beautiful results.
Although most dental schools, the American Dental Association, and many reputable dentists have a negative view of cosmetic dentists, there is an art to producing beautiful smiles. Read the Wikipedia article about cosmetic dentistry. It’s written by someone with an academic mindset who has a condescending attitude about cosmetic dentistry.
We’ve seen many stories like yours. A patient doesn’t like the dentist’s work because their teeth are too white and look fake, but the dentist insists everything is fine. The dentist devalues the patient’s opinion of their smile.
But great cosmetic dentists are sensitive to the patient’s smile and self-perception. If a patient has reservations about their smile, the cosmetic dentist considers the case a failure. And the dentist will redo it.
A well-known dentist with an excellent reputation might have great mechanical techniques but be unfit for appearance-related dentistry. Real cosmetic dentists often aren’t the most valued and prominent dentists in the community.
You’re not too picky. Your smile affects your confidence. So, find a cosmetic dentist who respects that. Look for a dentist who is a member of and has credentials from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. You’ll find a dentist who is an artist, who will accommodate your dental anxiety with sedation options, and who will regain your trust. And a true cosmetic dentist will give you your ideal smile.
Steven Brooksher, DDS, an accredited cosmetic dentist in Baton Rouge, LA, sponsors this post.