I need to make some important choices soon. I have a dental crown that is about 20 years old and two porcelain veneers that are a bit older. I’ve been experiencing some dry mouth. I’ve chipped the veneers on the front teeth and now there is a gray line at the gumline by the crown. I went to my dentist to discuss replacing them. Because my smile is no longer very white, he is suggesting I get crowns on both my upper and lower arch to do a smile makeover of sorts. The more I think about it, the more concerned I am, especially with my dry mouth. It may be better for me to just replace the old work and wait to see what happens with the dry mouth first. What do you think?
The first thing I am going to suggest is that you get a different dentist. If I understand you correctly, your dentist is suggesting crowning all of your teeth because your teeth need to be whitened? Really?
So, here’s the thing. Whitening your teeth will bring him in a few hundred dollars. Crowning all your teeth, known as a full mouth reconstruction, will bring him in $30,000+. Your dentist is being self-serving. The best dentists are doing their best to serve their patients without unnecessary expense for his or her benefit and while preserving as much tooth structure as possible. He’s doing neither.
My suggestion is you have your teeth whitened and then just replace the damaged dental work. However, I don’t think your dentist should be the one to do it and not just because he’s grabbing for the bucks. There is another warning sign that he isn’t what you need. When a dentist suggests dental crowns instead of porcelain veneers for a smile makeover, it is because they are not comfortable doing porcelain veneers. Doing crowns in a case where they are not needed is a waste of healthy tooth structure.
As you likely know from the crown you already have, in order to make room for the restoration, he’d have to grind your teeth down to nubs. This is irreversible. Once you have dental crowns you will always have to have dental crowns. It is much better to do porcelain veneers when it comes to a smile makeover.
Now, you do already have one crown. You mentioned a gray line at the gumline. This tells me the original dentist did a porcelain-fused to metal crown. On a front tooth, what you really want is an all-porcelain crown.
What you need is a skilled cosmetic dentist to take over. In your place, I’d look for an AACD accredited dentist. These dentists are in the top of the cosmetic field and have proven skill and artistry. You’ll have a smile you are proud of.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.