I received my first dental bridge in 2009 when I lived in the UK. I’m originally from Pennsylvania, but I moved to the UK to work at my employer’s corporate office. The bridge is for four teeth on the upper left, including my central incisor and the three teeth behind it. The bridge never looked right. The teeth are too large, and the color isn’t right.
I returned to the U.S. in 2017 and found a new dentist. She replaced the bridge, but the color was off, my left central incisor was longer than the right incisor, and the bridge was loose. My dentist removed the bridge, adjusted it, and recemented it. After I kept having problems with the bridge, my dentist recemented it two and four months later. After the third recementing, my dentist said I needed orthodontic treatment, or the bridge would continue to loosen.
I went to the orthodontist that my dentist recommended. The braces aligned my overbite by October 2019, and my dentist recommended that I get another dental bridge. The nightmare continues the way the new bridge looks. It doesn’t match my other teeth in color or size, and it is loose. I’ve been back and forth to my dentist, but she seems incapable of resolving the issues. Most recently, my dentist recommended an implant bridge. I took a break from seeing her due to the pandemic. It is a blessing because I decided not to return to her.
I realize that I will have to find a new dentist and trust that person. You probably are limited in how much advice you can give me without doing an exam. Are you able to tell me if there could be something wrong with my mouth structure that prevents me from getting a bridge that fits? Do I need an implant bridge? Or was this all my dentist’s fault? Thank you. Dagmar from TN
Thank you for submitting your question.
Your experience with three dental bridges is an example of why we say that most dentists lack artistic talent. Unfortunately, in your case, you didn’t find dentists who are good engineers to give you a functional dental bridge, either.
You’re right—Dr. Henderson or Dr. Finley would need to examine your teeth and bridge to determine why the bridge fits poorly. Although your dentist blamed your bite, the bridge would fit well if she made it correctly. A trained cosmetic dentist understands the properties of dental ceramics and how to match your other teeth in color and shape.
Can You Get a Refund for Your Dental Bridge?
You can request a refund for your dental bridge because it’s not functioning correctly. Although cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized dental specialty, you paid for a functioning dental bridge.
- Schedule consultations with two dentists with post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training. Check their websites and bios to read about their education and training.
- Choose a dentist for your second opinion and get documentation about the source of the faulty bridgework. Your second-opinion dentist will explain if you can benefit from implant bridge this time.
- You can start by asking your current dentist for a full refund, but if your dentist resists, explain that you need a new bridge. Request a partial refund. And your new dentist might be willing to help you request a refund.
- Complain to the state dental board if necessary.
- Consider hiring an attorney.
Best wishes for a healthy, comfortable, natural-looking smile.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, LA, dentist and Fellow of the American Academy of General Dentistry, sponsors this post.