I booked my initial consultation over the phone for Tuesday 28th June 2011 at a cost of £75 for 1 hour.
I advised the lady on the phone of all my worries, the experience at my previous dentist and how that had made me feel.
I said I was very concerned that my bite be unaffected by the treatment and that I was keen to find someone who would take time with me. Someone who would listen to what I wanted and would tailor the experience to my requirements. I did not want a one size fits all package. I definitely did not want the same boxy, characterless teeth as all the celebrities or those idiots from The Only Way is Essex.
The lady on the phone advised me that I should go with a particular dentist over the other, as he would best suit my needs (what she probably meant was my fiery temperament and general intolerence). I was happy with this decision after what I had read about him from his other patients, as well as general information on the internet.
I went alone to the consultation. The receptionist at the clinic was really friendly and made me feel quite at ease. She was the same lady from on the phone.
The dentist came down to the reception to greet me personally rather than making me wander aimlessly to find his room, which I thought was nice. We had a general chat. He asked about my previous experience with the other dentist and asked me what I wanted, what was important to me. I liked that he took the time to ask this and understand what I needed as an individual (although I assume phone lady had pre-warned him).
I advised that I wanted an input in to how the teeth would look; I did not want an ‘off the shelf’ smile. I wanted them to look realistic. I didn’t want to draw massive attention to my new teeth and have people ask about them, particularly when I have actively avoided talking about my teeth for the last 28 years!
I advised that I was very worried and that I didn’t want to trade one problem – which was essentially vanity and cosmetic – for a more serious problem which could cause me pain. In particular, my worry is/ has always been about my bite.
I asked him about the possibility of any bite issues and any increased sensitivity, as I had read about both on the internet. He reassured me this would not happen and not to beleive everything I read. I wasn’t convinced but liked his confidence 😉
The dentist handed me a mirror, asked me to smile and we talked about each tooth. He asked me how many veneers I thought I needed and did not pressure me in to a figure. We decided on 10 at the top, although I could have got away with 8 if I had chosen to. In for a penny…
The dentist asked me about the shape of my current teeth and their positioning and what I thought about them. I had been so concerned about my fluorosis/discolouration that I had never really paid much attention to any of the other issues. He said my teeth were very square and that optimally, teeth should be 100% long by 75%wide – more of a rectangle shape. I’d never even considered this before.
We talked in-depth about the size and shape of the new veneers and the dentist mocked up a digital version of my new teeth on his computer from a photo he took of me smiling. We adjusted the image until I was happy because at first I thought they were too wide and then too long. Not all dentists offer this but it is advantageous to see a ‘before and after’ mock up before you sign up to anything.
This dentist was a lot more reasonably priced than the first dentist I saw and when he asked about my bottom teeth, I decided that as I could afford to, I would do these too.
I opted for the bottom 6 in addition to the top 10 teeth. I negotiated about £1,000 off the price and so my final quote was for £10,050. This included all the impressions, gum reshaping on 3 teeth and the temporaries, in addition to the 16 veneers. There were no extra costs. My discount was on the condition I began treatment by the end of the month. I thought about it overnight and signed up for my impressions to be taken a week later on Tues 5th July 2011.
At this stage you should:
- Ask to see previous work carried out by your dentist
- Ask about any hidden costs. Does the quote definitely cover everything?
- Ask if the work is guaranteed. If so, for how long? Get it in writing. If a veneer breaks in the guaranteed time, are you given a replacement veneer for free under any circumstance? Ask if you get a discount on replacements after the guarantee is up – get that in writing too!
- Tell the dentist about any known dental issues – sensitivity, grinding, clenching etc. This may affect whether you can/should have veneers at this stage. Teeth grinders are not good candidates for veneers.
- If you have any issues like cavities or gum problems, the dentist should 100% fix these before fitting new veneers as this will only mask the problem, not fix it and will cost you more money and pain in the long run.
- If you don’t like needles, ask if they use a numbing spray first
- Ask how long you need to wait between the temporary and final veneers if you have not been told