Dental patients 'double mugged'

Some people are receiving unnecessary dental work because dentists "overuse" expensive crowns and veneers, according to experts.

Patients who have such cosmetic treatments can be victims of "double mugging", Martin Kelleher, a consultant in restorative dentistry at King's College London, said. "These unfortunate patients are being robbed twice – first of their money and again of their enamel and dentine," he wrote in the Faculty Dental Journal.

Mr Kelleher said patients can end up with most of their original teeth replaced by porcelain or ceramic veneers and crowns.

Up to 73 per cent of the tooth's structure is removed to fit a ceramic crown, yet there are questions over the long-term benefits. Research indicates half of veneers are no longer in place or require further treatment after a decade.