My teeth are in terrible shape. I admit that it is probably due to the fact that I was a bulimic for over ten years when I was a teen and even into my adult years. I am happy to report that I am not throwing up anymore. I still have moments where I fall into that old mindset, but I am no longer captive to the disease like I once was. My teeth were rotting off. I was embarrassed to smile at one point and finally decided to get my teeth fixed. The dentist I found recommended porcelain veneers and I went for it. At first, I couldn’t stop smiling. They looked beautiful and all those years of hiding my teeth felt like they were finally behind me. But that didn’t last long. Within a couple weeks, one by one, the veneers starting falling off. The dentist would put them back on and they would stick temporarily. But within a couple days they fall back off. I don’t feel like going back into him anymore because I’m starting to doubt that the dentist knows what he’s doing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
– Jasmine in Alabama
Thank you for your question and your transparency about your struggles with bulimia. Bulimia is devastating to the body, but it also destroys teeth and for some can cause irreversible damage.
It is difficult to say exactly why your porcelain veneers keep falling off. It could be that there is an issue with the dental bonding. Since bulimia wreaks havoc on the enamel, the edges of your teeth may be deteriorating. In order for the bonding to successfully hold the veneers, it must be sealed at the edge. So if the sides of your teeth were damaged over the years, the veneers will continue to fail. Or if you grind your teeth, it may be causing the veneers to come off.
An excellent cosmetic dentist would have been able to determine how suitable of a candidate you were for porcelain veneers. Sometimes individuals that have suffered from bulimia may not have enough natural tooth structure remaining for porcelain veneers. In cases like this, porcelain crowns are the better option to restore damaged teeth. Crowns cover the entire tooth, whereas porcelain veneers are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. Usually the back teeth endure the most damage with bulimia. So porcelain crowns work well on back teeth. If you are not sure the experience level of your current dentist, it may be time to find a cosmetic dentist that is experienced with full mouth reconstructions or has worked with ex-bulimics in the past. Ask to see cases similar to yours before moving forward and research their credentials and training in cosmetic dentistry. Ultimately, trust is always the biggest factor in finding the right dentist for your unique situation.
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