Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dental Negligence and Veneers

Brought to you by our friends at Axiclaim

Hundreds of thousands of people within the UK have veneers – often referred to as “caps” that sit over the root of the tooth, giving teeth a whiter, brighter and more even appearance. Veneers can be used in numerous circumstances, for example when the teeth are discoloured, stained, worn down, chipped or broken. Veneers can also be used to fix gaps between teeth, and when teeth are the wrong shape or misaligned.

How Are Veneers Fitted?
Veneers can be likened to a “false fingernail” - a very thin layer of resin or porcelain that sits over the front of the tooth or teeth. When veneers are fitted, the enamel from the front of the tooth is filed away so that the veneer has a rough surface to attach to. The tooth is cooled down so that the veneer is sufficiently able to bond to the tooth, and then the veneer is bonded to the tooth. Veneers generally last for about five years.

Advantages of Veneers
Veneers can be very useful in approving the appearance of the teeth and they tend to be used around the front of the mouth – for example, if one of the teeth in the front of the mouth has cracked or chipped, a veneer is usually put in place that matches the rest of the teeth in colour, size and shape to improve the overall appearance of the teeth. Sometimes, veneers will be put on top of all of the teeth within the mouth, and this tends to be when all of the teeth are less than aesthetically pleasing.

Disadvantages of Veneers
Although veneers can improve the look of the teeth, they can have a number of disadvantages. Veneers can increase tooth sensitivity, causing pain when you consume hot or cold foods or drinks, and they can also increase gum sensitivity. The process of having veneers fitted is also not reversible – wearing and filing down the enamel of the tooth is not reversible and so you cannot go back to having “normal” teeth. Veneers are also susceptible to chipping and cracking and they last only for about five years, making this a fairly costly route of treatment. If the veneers are put into the mouth incorrectly – for example, if too much enamel is filed away, or if the tooth is not cooled down enough before the veneer is fitted, this could lead to the patient requiring root canal treatment or further costly and painful procedures.

Could I Make a Claim?
If your dentist fails to make you aware of all of the advantages and disadvantages of having veneers, this means that they have failed to get your full informed consent. In situations where a patient has not given informed consent, the patient may well be able to make a claim for dental negligence. If the dentist fits the veneers incorrectly, resulting in further injury or illness, the patient could make a claim.

For more information about veneers and dental negligence claims visit

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