Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

May 3, 2017

A victim of shoddy dental work in Croatia


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Dr. Hall,
I had $60,000 worth of dental work done in Croatia for $11,000. It was a great deal until the veneers are starting to fall off. That was in September 2015. I have a 10-yr warranty so I will be going back in September for hopefully permanent repairs.

I was eating a piece of chocolate cake in March when the veneer to the left of my front tooth popped off intact. A week later eating spaghetti the other one on the side of the front tooth fell off. Today after eating spaghetti one of the front teeth popped off. I had all on 6 done on the upper and an implant and replacement crowns on the bottom. I don’t think this should have happened.

I thought we got porcelain and I have not been eating with my front teeth, I cut everything up as instructed. My husband and I are baffled why it is not very strong. Will they have to re do my entire upper teeth or will they glue this back on? I can’t have anyone else touch it as it is under warranty so now I am gluing them on with Polident which lasts 3 hrs. I am so bummed out 4 months before I can get them fixed. Thanks for any insight.

– Cindy from US Virgin Islands

Cindy,
When they told you not to eat with your front teeth, that’s a big red flag. Properly bonded, you should be able to eat anything you want. Your dentist’s instructions remind me of what one patient told me – that her dentist told her that her porcelain veneers would come off every few months. A dentist who is placing these correctly wouldn’t put any of these restrictions on your activities.

I wouldn’t have any reason to believe that if they didn’t know the right way to bond on porcelain veneers in 2015, why they would know now and do it right. Why are you going back to these people?

Knowing that they didn’t know how to do porcelain veneers right, I would question all of the work they did for you–the dental implant and the crowns. I would recommend a second opinion on all of it.

What to do about your smile for now? If the veneers are truly porcelain and if they have fallen off intact, an expert cosmetic dentist should be able to clean them up and get them bonded correctly. But this is beyond the knowledge and abilities of probably 95% of family dentists. You need a dentist with strong expertise in cosmetic dentistry bonding techniques, who knows how to etch the porcelain and bond it correctly. The cost for re-bonding these veneers should be relatively small. I would recommend going to one of the cosmetic dentists we recommend and having them fix this for you.

– Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

December 29, 2015

Another case of a porcelain veneer falling off

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Dr. Hall,
I had 5 porcelain veneers put on my front teeth 4 months ago. The one canine fell off in one piece after chewing on a piece of bread a week after it was permanently bonded. The tooth was extremely sensitive to air & I couldn’t tolerate the pain. The dentist said it fell off because my bite was off so he needed to shorten the veneer & the bottom tooth that slightly touched it. His defense was he didn’t see the issue before placing the veneer. He also said I didn’t need to be numb & proceeded onto rebonding it. The chemicals applied hurt so much I felt like dying, so I asked to be numbed before he could continue (same pain was experienced for bonding all other veneers.)

Today it has been 4 months later & that same veneer fell off while chewing a pancake. I felt the same intolerable sensitivity again. I asked the dentist why this happened when he said it would last 10 years? He replied because your bite is off so now we need to make it a full porcelain crown. I really don’t want to ruin my healthy natural tooth. Is it normal for the underlying tooth to be extremely painful w/the veneer falls off & should I be concerned about proceeding to a crown? He claims to have 1 year training in a cosmetic dentistry course & has 5 years experience in general dentistry. Please help I’m so stressed & afraid to bite w/the other front teeth.
– Kelly from Texas

(Note – I asked Kelly to tell me the name of her dentist so I could do a little research on him, but I won’t mention the name here.)

Kelly,
I think you should find another dentist—an expert cosmetic dentist—to put this veneer on right.
Your dentist claims to have a one-year training course in cosmetic dentistry. I think what he must be referring to is his General Practice Residency. It’s a stretch to call that training in cosmetic dentistry. Yes, it’s advanced training, but it’s in general dentistry.

He says that the veneer came off because your bite was off on that tooth. Now I can’t tell you anything about your bite from here, but the explanation doesn’t fully cut it, especially since it came off a second time after he adjusted your bite.

A properly bonded porcelain veneer will chip or crack before it will pop off. So there had to be something not quite right with the bonding. And then re-bonding a porcelain veneer is advanced cosmetic dentistry and I’m skeptical, after researching his credentials, that your dentist has the training to do that.

If you have the veneer, it should be a fairly straightforward and quick procedure for a dentist who knows what he or she is doing to rebond it. I can recommend someone close to you who can do this for you. Don’t let him turn this into a porcelain crown—that is way more aggressive than you need.

On the sensitivity, that doesn’t surprise me. Your dentist may have prepared your tooth deeper than usual, which leaves you with exposed dentin when your porcelain veneer falls off, which would make it quite sensitive. But even a tooth with a shallow veneer preparation can in some patients be quite sensitive.

Good luck,
Dr. Hall

Do you have a comment? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

November 4, 2015

My dentist said my new veneers may come off every couple of months

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Dear Dr. Hall,

I just got 8 top veneers placed on. As I was leaving the office, I was told they may come off every couple of months. I know I can’t eat apples or crunchy things with them but are they going to fall off that often??
Thank you for any info you can give me.
– Dorothy from Maine

Dorothy,
Really! They told you your new porcelain veneers may come off every couple of months? That’s a new one!

If they do come off, I will tell you what to do. Go back to their office and demand a refund or you will call a lawyer, because if they do, they weren’t done right. Take a copy of this email with you and show them – I’ll stand behind that statement 100%.

There is a principle in the dental profession called “the standard of care.” Now, unfortunately, since cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty, the standard of care for cosmetic dentistry is pretty low. Your new veneers don’t have to be beautiful. They may even look dingy and still meet the standard of care. But they do have to stay on. That much is pretty basic. So if your veneers begin falling off within the first couple of years, that is a breach of the standard of care, and the dentist is legally liable for that. It’s hard to put a number on it, because they should never just fall off. But if I had to use a number, I would say they should last ten years, at least.

And about your dietary restrictions. I placed many veneers over a period of maybe 15 years, and I never told my patients not to eat apples or crunchy foods. I told them to eat whatever they wanted, except for pins and bottle caps and stuff like that.

In fact, I will go this far. I would encourage you to test the veneers by eating some apples. If these veneers aren’t going to stay on, it is better if you find out now rather than later. Put them through a stress test and see if they’re bonded properly. A properly bonded porcelain veneer will not come off. I had a couple of cases where I had to re-do some porcelain veneers, and you have to grind them off, just as if they were part of the enamel, they are bonded so tightly.

There are only a couple of legitimate restrictions to your activities after you have a set of porcelain veneers, and I list those on this website on a page dedicated to the postoperative care of porcelain veneers. That is to avoid biting metal objects, and to wear a mouth protector when playing contact sports. But even those activities would potentially cause the veneers to chip or crack, not to come off.

If someone tends to grind their teeth at night, I also would wear a nightguard over the teeth to protect the veneers from chipping or breaking.

But apples and crunchy foods? You should be fine with those. Go enjoy yourself, that’s what I would say.
– Dr. Hall

Do you have a comment? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

May 2, 2007

Porcelain veneer fell off

Filed under: Porcelain veneers — Tags: , — mesasmiles @ 11:00 am

Hello. In 1994 I had ten porcelain veneers on my upper teeth due to severe tetracycline stain. I am very happy with them. Yesterday, one of my two front veneers split in two lengthwise and fell off. My dentist’s office had me come in and they have temporarily glued the piece back on which is very uncomfortable and I am very afraid it is going to fall off again. They are making me wait another 5 days to have a temporary tooth put on. To me, obviously, this is an emergency. I was told however at my dentist’s office that it’s not considered an emergency because it’s cosmetic. Would other dentists consider this type of situation an emergency? Also, would it be best to replace the broken veneer with another veneer or should I do a crown? Will the pores of the tooth hold another veneer?

Thank you very much for your time!
– Val in Ohio

Val,
I think that offices that do a lot of cosmetic dentistry understand the nature of an “esthetic emergency.” In our office, we gave them top priority.

I would not go to a porcelain crown. Yes, you can have a new porcelain veneer bonded on and it should hold as well as if it were original. The dentist needs to thoroughly understand bonding chemistry, though. It would be good to remove all of the old bonding material, just to be sure you’re starting with a fresh surface, but even that isn’t absolutely necessary, if the surface is treated properly.

You don’t have to have this re-done by the same dentist that did them in 1994. An expert cosmetic dentist will be able to match it perfectly. If you’d like to try someone who understands the nature of an esthetic emergency, try one of our Ohio cosmetic dentists. You’ll find them all excellent and very understanding of this type of emergency.
– Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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