- What are veneers?
- How do veneers work for crooked teeth?
- How to get free veneers
- How to remove stains from porcelain veneers
- How to prevent staining your porcelain veneers
- What happens to teeth under veneers?
- What is the average price for veneers?
- What would I look like with veneers?
- Can veneers fall off?
- How to complain about bad dental veneers
- Can I sue my dentist for broken veneers?
What are veneers?
A veneer is a thin cover for the front surface of the tooth; they are mainly used to cover up or rectify defects, stains or irregularities. Veneers are normally made from porcelain or composite also known as laminate. Porcelain veneers are handcrafted in a laboratory and are made to fit the patient receiving them.
Veneers are considered a cosmetic dental procedure and are used as a short to medium term fix for improving the appearance of your teeth. This solution is most commonly used to correct the following flaws and imperfections:
- Crooked and uneven teeth
- Chipped tooth or teeth
- Correct gaps
- Lessen protruding teeth
- Disguise discoloured teeth.
How many veneers you will need will depend on what you need and the level of perfection you are trying to achieve.
The materials used in veneers, such as porcelain or composite, recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience against plaque and bacteria that is similar to natural tooth enamel. Porcelain veneers tend to be more expensive than composite veneers as they mimic the look of a natural tooth more authentically than composite veneers. This is because porcelain has a natural translucency that is comparable to tooth enamel and if you practise good oral hygiene they can last for up to 10 years, while composite may only last 1-5 years.
How do veneers work for crooked teeth?
While dental veneers can be used to correct the appearance of crooked teeth, they are not an ideal treatment option. Although veneers take less time to provide than other options such as fixed orthodontic braces or clear aligners, they are a more damaging way of straightening teeth, and can in some circumstances create problems with the health of the underlying teeth.
When having veneer treatment you can expect to have the following treatment steps carried out:
- Treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthetic
- The front surfaces of the teeth to be veneered are filed down
- A mould will be taken of your filed down teeth to be sent to the laboratory
- Once your veneers are ready to be fitted your teeth will be cleaned thoroughly and a special gel will be applied to coat your teeth to help with the bonding
- A bonding agent, usually specialist dental cement, is then used to secure the veneer
- Any excess cement will be trimmed and the veneer polished.
Veneers can be made of porcelain or laminates, and are reasonably resistant to discolouration. Before you are fitted with veneers, your dentist should give you a thorough oral examination to ensure you are suitable for them. As long as you keep up a good level of oral hygiene veneers should last between five to ten years. You should brush and floss as you would normally.
If you have had veneer treatment that has gone wrong or suffered neglect at the hands of your dentist then you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Dental Law today.
How to get free veneers
Your NHS dentist will only offer dental veneers to you if there is a clinical need for them. The NHS will not offer veneer procedures for cosmetic reasons, and given that dental veneers are primarily intended to improve the appearance of patients’ teeth, there are very few circumstances in which a clinical need for veneers can be demonstrated.
Even if you do have a clinical need for NHS veneers, they will not be free unless you are entitled to free NHS dental treatment. There are three price bands and veneers tend to be in the most expensive band, which is band 3. The current price for procedures of this band is £244.30 (correct in 2017).
If you are looking for low-cost veneers it might be possible for you to volunteer for treatment at a local dental school. The procedure is likely to be undertaken by undergraduate or masters students under the experienced eye of a qualified dentist and dental nurses. Some dental schools will charge a small sum, while others will offer it for free.
If you do not qualify for NHS treatment or are not considered suitable for dental school procedures, then having private dental treatment will be your only option. The cost of dental veneers will vary considerably from dentist to dentist depending on how many you need, where you live, the type of material you use and the experience and reputation of your dentist.
As a rough guide composite veneers can cost anything between £150-400 for a single tooth and porcelain (ceramic) ones can cost between £500-1000 each. Porcelain tends to cost more due to the fact they are less likely to discolour or stain and with proper care, they will last longer than composite veneers.
Have you had a veneer procedure that has gone wrong or did your dentist miss something – leading to further oral health issues? If so, then you might be entitled to compensation. Contact Dental Law today! We are the leading solicitors for dental negligence in the UK.
How to remove stains from porcelain veneers
It is not normally possible to remove stains from porcelain veneers; nor is it possible to use teeth whitening products on them. The reason why stains cannot usually be removed from porcelain veneers is because the whitening gel used by home kits or the dentist cannot penetrate a veneer or change its colour; because, unlike a natural tooth, it is not porous.
If your veneers have become stained or discoloured, the only real solution is to have them replaced. Sometimes, it’s not the veneers themselves that stain but the bonding agent around the veneers. If this happens, the stained areas can usually be cleaned.
Like your natural teeth, porcelain veneers need regular brushing. It is recommended that you follow the same brushing procedure that is required for natural teeth. Without regular brushing, it is likely that your veneers will stain over time.
As a rule, porcelain veneers are stain resistant; however, there are some food and beverages that can discolour veneers over time, such as:
- Red wine
- Chewing tobacco.
Smoking can also stain porcelain veneers and the frequent consumption of alcohol can negatively affect the bonding material used to keep veneers in place.
How to prevent staining your porcelain veneers
If you want to try to prevent your porcelain veneers from staining, here are some top tips:
- Practice good oral hygiene: brush your veneers, floss and keep your mouth clean
- Limit foods and drinks that are known to stain veneers
- Go to the dentist for regular check-ups and teeth cleaning
- If the bonding has stained, visit your dentist to have the area cleaned
- Having your dentist polish your veneers will help to keep them white
- Some whitening toothpastes, or ones that are abrasive, can dull veneers, so avoid using them if you can.
If you have had veneer treatment that has gone wrong, or you have suffered neglect at the hands of your dentist, then you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Dental Law today.
What happens to teeth under veneers?
Teeth under veneers should be fine as long as your dentist has carried out the treatment properly. Before veneers are placed, your dentist should examine your teeth and take x-rays to ensure that you are suitable for treatment and that your teeth are healthy.
If you and your dentist are happy to proceed, then the tooth enamel on the front surface of the teeth being treated will be filed down by a millimetre or so. This means that the procedure is irreversible and you will not be able to revert to just your natural teeth again once the drilling has been done. Once you have started with veneers, your teeth will have to be covered with veneers for the rest of your life.
Veneers will need to be replaced after a certain amount of time. How long they will last depends on the materials used and how well you look after them. Composite veneers can last from 1-5 years with good oral hygiene, while porcelain veneers can last up to 10 years. When the veneers need replacing the tooth or teeth will have to be drilled or filed again.
If the tooth surface drilling procedure is not done correctly, perhaps too much tooth structure has been drilled off, or the tooth has been allowed to overheat, then the nerve inside the tooth may become inflamed, and the tooth can die off. It is also not unusual to need further procedures such as a root canal, fillings or a tooth extraction if veneers have not been put in correctly or if they were unsuitable in the first place.
If you have been given veneers that are unsuitable or your dentist has completed the procedure incorrectly, then you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Dental Law, the leading specialist for dental negligence in the UK, today.
What is the average price for veneers?
The price of veneers can vary depending on whether you are getting them done on the NHS or in a private clinic. The cost will also change depending on the number of veneers you need and where in the country you live. For example, it is likely that cost of dental veneers will be higher in London than in Wales.
Cosmetic dentistry can be expensive and the cost of veneers can also be affected by the fee charged by the laboratory which makes the veneers and the materials they use. The higher the quality of the materials used to make the veneers the more they are likely to cost.
The cost of dental veneers can also be influenced by:
- The experience, reputation and location of your dentist
- If your dentist works exclusively in cosmetic dentistry then it’s likely that veneers will cost more
- If you need preparatory work or further treatment it is likely that the cost of the procedure will rise.
Most dentists are likely to charge for veneers on a per tooth basis, but if you need several it is likely that your dentist will work out a special deal that will help to bring the cost per tooth down.
According to the Dental Guide, composite veneers can cost between £150-400 for a single tooth, while porcelain veneers, also known as ceramic veneers, cost between £500-1000 per tooth.
Composite options are cheaper, as this type of veneer tends to have a shorter lifespan and is more likely to stain. Porcelain veneers can last 5-10 years with proper care and are more resistant to staining. They also look more natural, but require more laboratory work, which is why porcelain veneers tend to be more expensive.
You can only get veneers on the NHS if there is a clinical rather than a cosmetic reason for having them. You will have to check with your dentist to see if you qualify for NHS veneer treatment.
If you have had a veneer procedure that went wrong or you feel like you have suffered dental negligence call or email dental law today!
What would I look like with veneers?
What you would look like with veneers depends on the level of treatment you undertake and the type of veneers you use. There are two different types of veneers – porcelain and composite. Veneers made of porcelain are perhaps better known, as well as more expensive; due to the laboratory costs involved.
It is possible that your dentist may have a virtual dental simulation app that can show you what you may look like after certain procedures. It does this by taking a photo of your face and then the app simulates the appearance of your teeth and face after the desired procedure has been carried out.
Many people with discoloured, or chipped teeth opt to have veneers because they look natural. The reason porcelain veneers look natural is because porcelain behaves in a similar way to tooth enamel and is translucent. When light strikes a real tooth the light is not immediately reflected off the surface. Instead, it penetrates the tooth enamel and reflects off the opaque tooth dentine that lies just beneath. Well -designed veneers will allow also light to penetrate the surface of the veneer and have a translucent appearance similar to that of natural teeth.
If you have recently had a dental procedure that went wrong or your dentist misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose a condition that has caused pain and further oral hygiene problems you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Dental Law today!
Can veneers fall off?
Yes, it is possible for veneers to fall off. If your veneer does fall off on its own accord then it is likely that it has not been fitted properly or the cement used was not adequately applied and cured. If this happens you will need to visit your dentist to get the veneer fixed. Most dentists will offer a warranty or guarantee for a set amount of time – this may mean that the cost of fixing the veneer is covered by the guarantee or warranty agreement. Other reasons why veneers may fall off include eating hard food, trauma during sport and poor dental hygiene.
However, if veneers start to fall off shortly after they have been fitted it is likely that your dentist has made a mistake or has done a poor job. If this does happen then your dentist should rectify the problem, but if the veneers keep falling off then you may want to get a second opinion.
If your dentist has done a poor job or neglected their duty of care and this has resulted in you enduring unnecessary pain or trauma then it may be possible to sue your dentist. If you do wish to undertake legal proceedings against your dentist then contact Dental Law today for helpful legal advice.
To read a case study on how we have successfully brought compensation claims due to issues with veneers click here.
How to complain about bad dental veneers
The vast majority of dental veneer procedures are carried out by private dentists. To complain about bad dental veneers you will need to contact the person responsible for dealing with your practice’s complaints.
If you are not happy about how your dental practice deals with your complaint then you can contact the Dental Complaints Service, which is funded by the General Dental Council (GDC). The GDC is responsible for setting out the standards of conduct for dentists and regulates all dental professionals in the UK. You can call the Dental Complaints Service on 020 8253 0800 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm), or fill out the complaint form on its website.
If your treatment was done on the NHS, again your first port of call is to talk to your dentist to try and resolve the matter. If your treatment was done in a hospital, then contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). You can also contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on 0345 015 4033.
If you don’t feel like your complaints are been taken seriously then it may be possible to sue your dentist if you have suffered harm or neglect.
Can I sue my dentist for broken veneers?
It is possible to sue your dentist for broken veneers, if the veneers have been damaged due to the dentist doing a substandard job or neglected their duty of care and this has resulted in unnecessary pain and suffering. It may also be possible to claim compensation for loss of earnings as well as for needless pain and any corrective procedures.
At Dental Law we can help you bring a claim against a dentist or dental practice if you have suffered from broken veneers as a result of your dental professional’s neglect.
To read about our successful cases click here.