Recovering From Bad Dental Work

It’s everybody’s worst nightmare– a trip to the dentist that goes wrong.

While dentistry in Australia is highly regulated, some practitioners are less experienced than others, which can result in cosmetic or restorative dental work that is less than ideal i.e. bad dental work!

One of the cases I have seen in my practice included a patient whose fillings and crowns had been attached in a way that prevented her from biting her teeth together properly. The interference in her mouth was actually causing her to bite down harder on one side than on the other. The result of this ineffective dentistry was that she had lost three teeth to root fractures on one side. She had no idea that it was bad dental work that was causing her problems.

Sometime even visiting the dentist to fix your smile can end up with you looking worse than when you first walked through the door. I met with another patient who had been looking forward to getting veneers, only to end up “looking like a horse”. The patient was hugely distressed because the veneers were too thick and she felt that the colour wasn’t right.

Fixing bad dental work

If you suspect your recent dental work has been below par, it is important to seek out a second opinion. An experienced dental practitioner will be able to assess the damage, come up with a comprehensive plan and reverse or repair what the other dentist has done wrong.

When I work with bad veneer jobs, instead of diving right in and replacing them, I start from the beginning to discuss what the patient actually expects. Then we take a mould of their teeth so that we can provide an idea using a model of what the veneers are going to look like before we go ahead.

Repairing bad veneers does unfortunately mean cutting everything off and starting again, but this time the patient will already have an idea of what the result is going to be, including the colour and the thickness.

What can be done?

In the case of crowns or fillings that interfere with a bite, a good dentist can analyse the bite and adjust the forces through some of the fillings and crowns, making adjustments so that patients are able to chew properly.

Sometimes a comprehensive treatment plan is required to fix bad dental work, particularly when there are major repairs to be done. Often, however, patients are suffering from headaches, jaw pain or repeated tooth breakage. They don’t even realise the cause of their maladies and it is a such relief to finally be pain free that they understand that the extra dental work is a worthy investment.

Preventing bad dental work

The result of bad dental work goes beyond a smile that you’re not happy with. You can end up with an uneven bite that leads to the need for more work down the track. The worst case scenario of a dodgy dentist is damaged teeth that can’t be fixed.

To reduce your chances of ending up with dental work that you’re not happy with, firstly make sure that your dentist has the right tertiary qualifications by checking online that they are registered with the Dental Board of Australia. A simple search will display their exact qualifications and whether or not they have had any reprimands during their career.

Shop around and choose a dentist based on their field of expertise. If you’re looking for cosmetic dental work, make an appointment with someone who specialises in this area. Seek out a family friendly dentist to treat your young children.

Finally, talk clearly with your dentist. Discuss exactly what you want and ask how they have treated other patients before. If you are feeling uncomfortable or unhappy, don’t leave it too long before bringing up your concerns with your dentist or seeking a second opinion.