Was my cosmetic dentist in over his head?

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I was unhappy with my smile, so I decided to see a cosmetic dentist to fix my front teeth. The two most prominent teeth kind of overlapped one another. So, the cosmetic dentist decided to grind them both down. The lateral teeth where also filled to give (what I was told) was a more natural look.

The end result. A very uncomfortable smile. There are sharp edges where the grinding was done. I feel like he was attempting to make both teeth appear more straight. Also, he applied some yellowing to them so they looked more natural. I was adamantly against the yellowing because I was trying to improve my smile, not make it worse. But, he insisted that the composite bonding would look fake if it was white.

In hindsight, I should have noticed this as a red flag. My front teeth not only look worse, they are less structurally sound after the cosmetic dentist finished.

I thought I’d was choosing a less risky procedure over porcelain veneers for straighter teeth. But, I am left with a damaged, yellow smile. Please tell me there is hope. Do I have any other options to save my smile?

-Becky in New Jersey


It sounds like you’re living your very own cosmetic dentistry horror story. I’m sorry for that.

Although, it is difficult to give you specific recommendations without having seen your case in person, there may be a couple options to improve what the cosmetic dentist did to your front teeth.

First, less than two percent of dentists actually have the ability and artistic inclination to create truly beautiful cosmetic dentistry, especially dental bonding on front teeth. In order to be an expert cosmetic dentist requires extensive advanced training and understanding of composite materials and bonding techniques. Also, the cosmetic dentist needs to have a passionate, artistic eye to create beauty.

Also, the yellow teeth sounds like a disaster. This is unheard of among excellent cosmetic dentists. That said, your dentist probably was doing the best he could. He just comes from a functional mindset and not one of creating beauty.

So, where do you go from here. Don’t go back to the same dentist. Sadly, he won’t be able to fix what’s been done or make the right recommendations. He likely believes his cosmetic dentistry work meets the expected standard of care. So, move on and cut your losses. You need to interview multiple cosmetic dentists in your area and go from there.

Find a cosmetic dentist that can show you a bunch of examples of before and after dental bonding cases. Also, check out their credentials. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is a top-notch, prestigious organization and may be a starting point to see if there are any AACD accredited dentists in your area. Once you are confident in the new dentist’s expertise, they will be able to redo the tooth bonding and give you the smile of your dreams.

Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully, you’ll have a successful smile makeover very soon. Best of luck.

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.