Unacceptable or inappropriate cosmetic dentistry


Dental claims and dental negligence law is a very specialist area. Our experienced dental negligence lawyers fully understand the dental terminology and dental procedures that may give rise to dental negligence claims. We also totally understand that when dental care and treatment does not give the expected outcome, the possibility that this is due to dental negligence creates an additional level of frustration and anxiety.

At DNC, our specialist dental negligence lawyers can help you every step of the way to ensure that you receive compensation for your physical and emotional injuries, for the financial losses associated with the substandard dental care or treatment and for the cost of any corrective treatment.

Our specialist dental negligence solicitors are sympathetic and knowledgeable about the situation you may find yourself in. Your claim will be handled by true professionals who understand your anxieties and concerns, and have both the legal and dental expertise to help you through this difficult time.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry can be any type of dental care or treatment that is solely carried out to improve the appearance of the teeth.

Occasionally, cosmetic dentistry may also improve the function of the teeth (for example where missing teeth are replaced).

Veneers

A veneer is a thin sliver of porcelain, which is permanently bonded to the front surface of a natural tooth to improve the colour, shape and to a certain extent, the angulation of the tooth.

Veneers are usually placed on the incisors and canines, but maybe also be fitted on the premolars. The teeth often require some preparation to remove a small amount of the tooth surface as otherwise the veneer may make the tooth appear too thick/proud. But the preparation also creates a definite area for bonding the veneer to the tooth.

Problems with veneers

Veneers are a bit like false nails (!) Even with the best bond to the natural tooth, if a twisting force is applied to them, they may de-bond and fall off. The usual cause is either nail biting or using the front teeth to open packets of crisps, tear sellotape etc.

It is important to be warned to avoid/stop any habit or action that may twist the veneer – or it will fall off!

As with any bonding technique, it is essential to ensure there is no moisture contamination as this will prevent/weaken the bond. The worst case scenario is that the inadequate bond will allow decay will develop under the veneer – especially if the frequency of bacteria, sugar and acid in the diet is weighted in favour of decay occurring.

Tooth whitening procedures

Tooth whitening occurs by using a bleach solution to lighten the teeth. This can be done in the dental surgery or at home.

If using a home kit, it is important to use one that has been recommended by your dentist because some, non-regulated kits either contain too little bleach to be effective or contain acid that can damage not only your teeth but also your gums and oral mucosa (the soft tissues in your mouth).

Tooth whitening will only affect a natural tooth. It will not have any effect on any types of ‘false’ teeth such as dentures, crowns or veneers.

Sometimes root canal treated teeth will darken and discolour over time. A whitening solution is more likely to be effective when placed inside the tooth rather than when just placed on the outside of the tooth.

However, before doing any internal bleaching, it is very important to take an x-ray to check that there is an adequate root filling present and that there is no evidence of any ongoing infection at the root tip.

You may wish to discuss this further with your dentist.

Problems with tooth whitening

Due to the action of the bleach solution, some people experience tooth sensitivity to cold during and/or after the treatment. The gums around the teeth may also become uncomfortable and/or develop white patches due to irritations from the bleach solution. These side effects are usually temporary and gradually disappear after the whitening process is stopped.

The effects of tooth whitening are temporary – in time, the teeth will return to their original colour. If you have matched the porcelain shade on a veneer, crown or bridge to the initial tooth whitened colour, it may appear too light as the natural teeth around it gradually lose the effect of the tooth whitening.

Dental negligence claims arising from the cosmetic dentistry

Whether for cosmetic of dental health reasons, the same dental negligence principles apply with regard to full and informed consent and to any unacceptable or inappropriate fillings, crowns and bridges, implants, extractions and orthodontic treatment.

Categories: Type of Claim