One week ago today I had 4 composite veneers placed on my upper front teeth, to hide some staining. This morning while brushing my teeth I heard a ping as I went to rinse my mouth and looked down to see one of them falling down the drain. What could have caused this? I've made it a point to avoid biting into anything harder than a sandwich and haven't suffered any trauma. Also should my dentist be held liable for the failed restoration and fix it as a discounted rate?
Composite Veneer Just Fell Off. Why?
Doctor Answers (5)
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Composite veneers are not as good as porcelain
There are many reasons composite veneers can debond. Among them is the quality of enamel bonded too, previous restorations, reasons for the staining reported, and parafunctional habits. The most common reason seems to be nocturnal parafunction. Even if YOU avoid biting on hard foods or biting nails, you MIGHT be grinding your teeth in your sleep. This can weaken the bond and then subsequent actions (eating soft foods, brushing and flossing) can finish off the job.
There is no liability issue here, and how your dentist conducts their business is up to them. They may simply repair the veneer. They may not.
Recent veneer falling out should be re-done at no charge
There are may reasons why a composite veneer could fall out. It it fell out in one piece, rather than a chipped piece, then it could be failed bonding to the tooth. Failed bonding to tooth can be due to insuficient or defective enamel or poor bonding technique or materials. Another possibility is that you grind your teeth at night or have a tight bite.
Whatever the reason does not matter. Your dentis is liable and should re-do it for NO charge. (if it is only a few weeks as you stated). If you have problems you can contact your local dental or state dental association or dept for professional regulations to see what options you have. Or you can retain an attorney.
If the problem is with your enamel, the dentist should have seen this and known that this is a poor choice of treatment. Then bonded veneers should not have been recommended and perhaps porcelain veneers that partially wrap around the sides and back could hold up better. If the problem is your bite, again the dentist should have anticipated this and recommended something else like braces or bite adjustment or stronger materials.
Composite veneer fell off
Multiple factors can contribute to restoration failure in your case: it can be poor or lack of adequate tooth structure underneath of the veneer, traumatic bite, bruxism (nocturnal grinding during sleep) or quality of the materials used. The dentist should not be liable for that failure, unless you have a different agreement about warranty.
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New Composite Veneer Fell Off!
Your composite veneer may have come off for a variety of reasons:
- There may not have been enough enamel to bond to - which weakened the strength
- You may be clenching / grinding at night (and may not realize it)
- You may be hitting the new composite veneer when you slide your teeth together in different ways (it may be longer than what was there before)
I would not say the dentist is liable for anything, but I would suggest calling the dentist and letting him or her know what happened. Most dentists will stand behind the treatment and re-do it the first time - they may have to modify the length and may suggest a night guard as well to protect it from future issues.
Composite Veneers Depend on Enamel for Strength
If there was not enough enamel under the veneer to bond to, then the resulting bond strength was very week. Combine that with night-time "grinding" or strange eccentric movements of your jaw in your sleep, then you will get a de-bonding. The dentist should NOT be held responsible, unless he gave you some kind of written guarantee as to longevity.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.