How Long Should a Dentist Be Liable for Replacing Any Defective Porcelain Veneers?

I had full mouth Procelain Veneers at 51 yrs old,(I'm 58)and my Dentist knew I have health issues, but recommended them. The cost took my savings. I'm "NOW" finding out what it costs to address other problems. I recently was told I need 2 root canals costing $2,500.00. I'm concerned that I have no alternatives as I age and my health worsens. No way will I be able to sustain the length of time laying in a chair,financial strain, or discomfort I'll need for repacement. What Choices Do I Have?

Doctor Answers 8

Liability after porcelain veneers and smile makeover

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Esthetic rehabilitation is a step which usually improves patient`s self-esteem, function and smile per se. When it is performed the patient should be aware that regular maitenance, intense prophy recall, caries control, toothpastes that are able to prevent root caries like Prevident is a must. Health issues are usually addressed before any treatment is performed. And it sounds from your comment that your dentist has been aware of that. Your frustration is evident and explainable, and you should look at the big picture - 7 years for porcelain restorations is an average longevity that has been proved by multiple research. Sometimes endodontic problems appear in teeth due to trauma, grinding, previous big restorations and can be treated with a safe approach when the crown or veneer can stay intact. 

Currently there are multiple ways to manage chair time for the patient with health problems, when it is physically difficult to stay in the dental chair. Your dentist can use oral or intra-venous sedation, that will make all the dental experience less stressfull and will help to tolerate dental procedures.

Dental warranty

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Many dentists would replace or repair defective veneer within the first year of fabrication. Unfortunately after seven years it is highly unlikely that your dentist will replace it for you for free. Regarding your options I would recommend to go to your dentist explain your situation and see what he proposes. Alternative to the porcelain veneer could be a composite veneer, it is not as expensive as porcelain, but if done right outcome can be very aesthetic.

Zina Kaleinikova, DDS, MS
Cleveland Dentist

Veneer Replacement Liability

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Although we would like our dental work to last forever, nothing does.  Just as a car shows signs of age after use for seven years, so will your veneers.  Depending on many factors, such as how well the veneers and underlying teeth were cared for and maintained, diet, and changes to your overall health over time, most dental work including veneers may need replacement.   It is unlikely that any action by the dentist placing veneers many years ago would result in a need for root canal therapy today. 

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Dentist

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How Long Should a Dentist Be Liable for Replacing Any Defective Porcelain Veneers?

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Every dentist has a different policy for these sort of things. There are a lot of things that get used everyday that lasting seven years is still good service (a DVD player, some cars, furniture in your house...).

Nonetheless, you sound frustrated that you are having new problems. You make reference to your "health issues". Deteriorating health can significantly shorten the lifespan of your dental work, or make you more prone to new cavities. 

You sound very concerned about your deteriorating health, increasing difficulty of being able to sit comfortably in a dental chair, costs, and worried about if the new necessary work will be painful. Just like your physical health can deteriorate rapidly, your dental health can change rapidly too

In my opinion, I would sit down with your cosmetic dentist and make a brief list of your questions and concerns. You may have to be prepared to hear some candid comments about why your mouth needs new work now.

I have some patients who have undergone a smile makeover or major porcelain veneer treatments who want to think that the day the veneers go on everything is done for the rest of their life. It's simply not the case. My patients who undergo major treatment must be on regular teeth cleanings every three months for at least the following year, and often for the rest of their life. We have a very intensive prevention and maintenance program to keep new problems from developing again. 

As the patient you always have ultimate control over what you do to your teeth, as well as what costs you invest. If you do not like the costs and advice you are getting, you may need to have a frank conversation with your dentist. 

If you had a large number of problems with your teeth or porcelain veneers a short time after having it done, than I would be concerned that maybe some work wasn't done well. Needing new work after seven years is not really an indication that your cosmetic dentist did something wrong.

I understand this can be frustrating, but the key at this point is to really ask the questions to your cosmetic dentist like you have here, and then open your mind to hear answers you might agree with or answers you don't really want to hear. Thanks for your question, Dr. Scott Greenhalgh, DDS

Liability of Dentist

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If your veneers have lasted 7 years that is pretty good. How many things are we still using that last over 7 years. There is maintainence that has to happen with anything. Nothing lasts forever. I don't think the root canals you are having to have now are a result of work done 7 years ago. Unfortunately things occur and it is no result of the dentist.

Phillip Kemp, DDS
Brentwood Dentist

I have my patients wear a night guard for veneer protection

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Porcelain veneers are strong restorations that have the potential to last decades.  Perhaps the very best way to maximize your veneers is to protect them from the natural forces - that eventually wear them out.  These forces are common sense use, great dental hygiene, and most important -  an appliance (mouth guard) for protection against night time bruxism and grinding.  The night time problems tend to cause the most damage to veneers.

All my patients get a night guard to protect their investment.  Good patient education is also important.  I hope your case works out and wish you the best.

Greg Lutke, DDS
Plano Dentist

Responsibilty for veneers/dental work. Go to a Prosthodontist for planning.

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Dear Chipper:

I read and re-read your story and I am trying to zero-in on your bottom line... What is it that you want?  Do you want your dentist to pay for the work needed today?  It does "take two to tango" and I am certain that your dentist did not "force" you to have the work done seven years ago.  I am also certain that you were happy for the past seven years, since you have not mentioned anything otherwise.  I my colleagues explained very well that seven years on veneers of average quality (I do not know what type of work was done, how you cared for it, or anything else about your situation, so I am assuming average conditions) is good service.

What is missing from dentistry today, in general, is not the procedures we can do, but the "doctoring".   As a surgically trained Prosthodontist, I see many patients who had work done several years prior, but there was no planning for the future, and the discussion of "what if, and when" aparently never came up with thier former dentist.

Proper planning is paramount.  At his point, since you are having heallth and mobility issues, the best person to turn to is a Prosthodontiist--the specialist in restrative, cosmetic, and implant surgery.  Prosthodontists get special post-graduate training for thee years, or more after dental school to address complex situations, not just with procedures, but also with patient management.  There are Prosthodontists in your area... just "google".

I wish you the best fo luck, and hope that you can find a dentist who will help you plan for your future.


Dr. Zev Kaufman

Root canals don't always destroy veneers

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A skilled dentist or endodontist often can perform their task with minimal effects to existing restorations.  If they CAN, the access hole can be restored easily and for much less than the original crown or veneer.

I don't think you will get a free or discounted restoration after they have been in service for 7 years.  A full mouth reconstruction does not mean no more dental care for the rest of your life.

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.