I think I made a mistake, but I don’t know what to do about it. I needed my four front teeth crowned. I told my dentist that I wanted all porcelain crowns. He told me that he hasn’t done many of them, but I told him how important that was for me, so he said he’d go ahead and do it. When the crowns were completed I was really disappointed. They didn’t look very natural to me. I expressed this to my sweet dentist and he said he’d do them over free of charge. He asked if I wouldn’t mind going to the lab in order to give them some idea of what I am looking for. I said OK, but now I wonder if that was a mistake. I don’t really know how to instruct a lab. Do you have any advice for me?
You have a fantastic dentist, who obviously cares about you and values you as a patient. He is willing to do this again free of charge, which will actually cost him a significant amount of money in lab fees alone. Because your crowns are functional and the only problem seems to be you not liking the appearance, he is under no obligation to do anything. I hope this gives you some idea of what a generous, kind dentist you have.
You mentioned earlier that you think you’d made a mistake. To be honest, the mistake wasn’t in agreeing to go to the lab, the mistake is in unintentionally putting your dentist in the position of needing to do a procedure he wasn’t adequately trained in so that you would be happy.
Doing all-porcelain crowns requires artistry that takes significant post-graduate cosmetic training. You going to the lab won’t really help, because you don’t know any more than your dentist does what instructions to give the lab. Here is what I suggest. You’ll need to go to an expert cosmetic dentist and pay his consulting fee. Tell him the situation and ask him to advise you on what to ask the lab. He may even suggest you go to a different lab depending on how he feels about the quality of your dentist’s current one. Then you can tell your original dentist his advice.
The next step is for you to find an expert cosmetic dentist. First, I’d go on the website for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and look for a dentist who is accredited with them in your area. That is different from just being a member. If you can’t find an accredited dentist in your area I would go to the mynewsmile.com website and look for who they recommend from your state. This site only lists expert cosmetic dentists, so you’ll be safe with anyone on the list.
From now on I recommend going to your invaluable dentist for all your general dentistry needs, but to another dentist for cosmetic issues.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Louisiana dentist Dr. Mike Malone.