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Veneers gone wrong

Veneers gone wrong? What can you do?

Veneers help you to achieve a white and flawless smile by covering the surface of each individual tooth with a thin layer or porcelain or laminate. Some veneers are handcrafted so that they fit each tooth perfectly and this process can make the process expensive and time consuming. As a cosmetic dental procedure, you will be required to pay to have veneers fitted, but it’s important to understand your rights when the dental process doesn’t go to plan.

If you’ve had veneers fitted by your dentist and something goes wrong during the process or afterwards, it can be a very traumatic and difficult experience. Whilst most veneer procedures are successful and the results last for the amount of time they are designed for (up to 10 years, depending on the type of veneers you have fitted), sometimes things unfortunately do go wrong. When dental veneers go wrong it can mean not only additional expense, pain and inconvenience to have new veneers fitted, but in some cases can mean that you are unable to replace the veneers at all and your teeth are now in a worse situation than before your original procedure.

If your veneers failed because you were let down by the dental professional that fitted them, who made avoidable errors, didn’t have the necessary skills or experience to carry out the procedure successfully or simply delivered a poor standard or care, you might be eligible to make a compensation claim for dental negligence.

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Common reasons that veneers to go wrong

As mentioned previously, most veneer procedures are successful and deliver great results. However, some of the reasons why veneers can go wrong include, but are not limited to:

Unsuitability to have veneers fitted in the first place

Whilst veneers can be a suitable option for someone who wants to transform their smile, there are some criteria that any patient needs to meet to ensure they are a suitable candidate to have veneers fitted in the first place. These include:

  • Healthy gums – someone with gum disease or unhealthy gums would not be suitable for veneers
  • Healthy tooth enamel – as the veneers attach to your existing tooth enamel, it needs to be strong and healthy, and the teeth shouldn’t be heavily filled already.
  • Major teeth misalignment – whilst it can be possible to fit veneers to teeth that have minor misalignment, very crooked teeth will make you a poor candidate for veneers
  • Teeth grinding – if you grind your teeth, it can weaken your own enamel and damage veneers so can make you unsuitable for this procedure

Your dentist should carry out a thorough assessment on your teeth and oral health before recommending veneers. If they don’t make the proper checks before carrying out the procedure, or make you aware of the risks of having veneers fitted, and then something goes wrong, this could be dental negligence and you may be able to make a compensation claim.

If mistakes were made when fitting the veneers

Fitting veneers is a procedure that takes significant skill. The dentist that carries out the procedure should be appropriately qualified in this area and be able to carry out the procedure to a high standard. If the dental professional who fits the veneers doesn’t have the expertise required, makes errors during the process or fails to deliver care to a reasonable standard, and you suffer as a result, this is dental negligence.

An example of this kind of mistake might be that the dentist removes too much of your own tooth enamel when shaping the tooth. This can cause permanent damage to your teeth underneath the veneers and possibly result in the death of the tooth. Too much tooth removal can also make replacing the veneers in the future very challenging, or it can result in the veneers actually falling off as the adhesive bond between the veneers and the tooth fails.

Another example could be if the veneers do not fit closely to the teeth underneath, this can cause pain and sensitivity and even nerve damage, as well as potential problems with food accumulation, staining of the edges of the veneers, and possible gum damage.

Poor oral health care after the procedure

In order for veneers to have the best chance of success and to last as long as they are designed to, it’s important to take really good care of your oral health, which means regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental check-ups so that any issues can be picked up early.

One of the most common complaints of composite veneers gone wrong is that they can discolour and stain more easily than the more expensive porcelain option. However, with good oral hygiene, even composite veneers can look as they should do for longer.

Whilst veneers made from porcelain are usually more durable, less prone to staining or discolouration, it does happen that porcelain veneers go wrong or need replacing earlier than expected if they aren’t looked after properly with good oral hygiene habits.

People with veneers should avoid very chewy or hard foods as this can sometimes damage the veneers. Anyone with veneers who grinds their teeth may not in fact be suitable for veneers, and if they are provided should always wear mouthguards at night to avoid doing damage to their teeth and veneers as they sleep.

What to do if you think your veneers are going wrong

If you have had veneers fitted, your dentist should have told you what to expect in the days and weeks afterwards and how to take care of your new veneers to help them last as long as they should do. If you experience pain or sensitivity that goes on for more than a few days after the veneers were fitted, or if the veneers become damaged or discoloured or don’t seem securely attached to the teeth underneath, the first thing you should do is return to your dentist.

Your dentist should be able to tell you if your veneers have gone wrong and whether you need further treatment to resolve the issue. If you are not comfortable returning to the dentist who carried out the procedure, you can visit another dentist who is fully qualified in fitting veneers instead.

How to make a compensation claim when veneers go wrong

If your veneer procedure hasn’t gone as expected or you are unhappy with the results, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can make a dental negligence veneers compensation claim. To successfully claim, you will need to prove that the dental professional who treated you was negligent in their care and you have suffered as a result of it.

If you have suffered pain (including physical and/or emotional pain), financial loss, long-lasting or permanent damage to your teeth or perhaps require further treatment to fix the problem(s) caused by your dentist’s negligence, you might be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

Another reason that you might be able to claim is if your dentist didn’t fully explain the procedure and any risks involved before proceeding with it. This would be dental negligence because they failed to obtain the proper informed consent before carrying out the veneer procedure.

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