I suffered from an eating disorder most of my teenage years. I worked really hard to overcome the bulimia in my early twenties, and I finally got the point where I felt confident and happy. The only thing that bothered me after my recovery was my smile. I found myself always covering my mouth when talking to people or laughing. I finally got up the nerve to talk to my dentist about it and he suggested that I get porcelain veneers. The procedure went off without a hitch and I have to say I love how my smile looks. The only bad thing is that the veneers started popping off after just a couple of weeks. One would fall off and I’d go have it fixed and then another would pop off. I’ve been back into the office a handful of times within the last month. It’s obvious something is not right, but I don’t know what to do. Help! — Anastasia
What a awesome story of recovery – congrats to you! Porcelain veneers fail for several reasons, but if you don’t have a habit of grinding your teeth at night and they look and feel ok, they are probably popping off because of the bonding. Bulemia destroys the tooth enamel mostly on the back of the teeth, but it can also creep onto the sides of the teeth and affect the enamel there as well. The bonding material needs a good layer of enamel to properly adhere and porcelain veneers depend on a strong bond at the edges to seal out leakage and hold firm.
If you do have damage to the sides of your teeth, traditional bonding methods won’t work. But aside from that, your dentist should have been able to tell that you were not a good candidate for veneers if he had examined your teeth closely. A better solution would have been to have crowns made to completely cover your teeth. They will not only hold better, but they will also protect the backs of your teeth which likely have the most damage. Discuss this with your dentist and see if he thinks full crowns will solve the problem. If he says no or doesn’t want to address the issue, get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Stephen Doan. Find out more about the services he provides by visiting his La Jolla cosmetic dental website.