I’ve been crying for the last year. I had a decent smile that just needed an upgrade. I had some chipped teeth and the color was showing its age. I opted for eight porcelain veneers. The problem is they keep falling off at the rate of one to two every couple of weeks. Combine that with the fact that the dentist ground my natural teeth down to tiny dark nubs and you can see why I don’t like going around without my veneers. She always glues them back on but it is getting where I just can’t go anywhere without fear. The holidays are coming up and I am wondering if there’s any way to fix this. She blames my grinding but I wear a mouthguard for that. Is this normal? I don’t know if this information help but the ones that fall off the most have a ledge on their backs.
No, not only is this not normal, but I also believe it is malpractice. There are a couple of major things wrong here. First, you said you opted for porcelain veneers. Your description tells me that what your dentist actually gave you are porcelain crowns. This is a gross misrepresentation. Not to mention the unnecessary damage she’s done to your teeth.
Porcelain Veneer Tooth Preparation
When your teeth are prepared for porcelain veneers, hardly any of the surface tooth structure is removed.
Looking at the picture on the left you can see the depth limiting tool most dentists will use to make sure they only remove what is necessary. For porcelain veneers, only about half a millimeter is removed from the tooth structure. Your description goes way beyond that. Plus, veneers don’t have backs to them. They only go over the front of your teeth and hug the sides just a bit. Placing porcelain veneers, along with doing smile makeovers, isn’t taught in dental school It is up to the dentist to invest in that type of post-doctoral training. It doesn’t sound like your dentist did.
Here is an example of typical tooth preparation for a porcelain crown. I’m guessing your dentist went even deeper because of the lack of retention.
While placing porcelain veneers isn’t taught in dental school, dental crowns are supposed to be a basic standard for dental care. The fact that she can’t even keep those in, gives me serious doubts about her basic abilities as a dentist.
Because she gave your porcelain crowns instead of veneers, she not only violated ethics by doing a different procedure than you agreed to, but she unnecessarily removed tooth structure, which weakens your teeth and puts them at risk of needing a root canal treatment or even breaking.
Where to Go From Here
I think your dentist needs to pay for this to be done properly by a qualified dentist. The first thing I want you to do is see if there is an AACD accredited dentist in your area. Those are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. They’ll be able to create a stunning smile for you, even with porcelain crowns. Then, approach your dentist about this issue. If she gives you trouble let her know it is that or you’ll have to go to court, where she’ll not only have to pay for the repairs, but will likely have to pay other types of compensation as well. I’m fairly certain her insurance company will tell her to bite the bullet and pay to get this fixed. Make sure that YOU pick the dentist, not her.
If you can’t find an AACD accredited dentist in your area, your next stop can be mynewsmile.com. This site prescreens cosmetic dentists for their technical skill as well as their artistry. If they’re listed, they’re skilled. Many are also either accredited or on their way to accreditation. Most of them even have a beautiful smile guarantee.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.