I have several porcelain veneers. One of the teeth with a porcelain veneer has a cavity. The dentist wants to remove the veneer and place a crown on that tooth. I really think that is overkill. He insists it is the standard procedure. Is that right?
I am not flat out saying that your dentist is incorrect here, but I would recommend a second opinion before going through with this. First, a crown would only be necessary for quite a large cavity. I would say at least 20% of your tooth should have decay. If the decay isn’t that significant I question why the dentist is wanting to do a crown instead of a veneer. Some dentists do not have the skill to do porcelain veneers so they steer their patients toward crowns. Here’s the problem with that. If he can’t do porcelain veneers, what are the chances that he can match a single crown to the remainder of your front teeth? Very few dentists can do that well.
I would go see an excellent cosmetic dentist and ask them if the tooth actually needs a crown. If not, don’t get rid of all that healthy tooth structure. When you have porcelain veneers, the most vulnerable place for decay is right at the margin where the porcelain meets your tooth. However, it is not too difficult to prevent that decay. There are two keys. One is the frequency of eating. Your saliva will do a lot of the work if you just don’t snack too much, giving it time to do its job. The second thing is flossing. Making sure to floss every day will get in the margins.
I’m not confident this dentist can give you an attractive result no matter which restoration you end up with. Instead, I would start looking for dentists who do beautiful cosmetic work. One of the things to look at is their smile gallery. If they do not have a smile gallery, they do not do enough cosmetic work. In their smile gallery, specifically look for before and after images of both porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. If you love the results you see on there, make certain you take one additional precaution and call the office to ask if the gallery is populated with images of the dentist’s own work or stock images. You want it to be work the dentist has done.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David P. Marion.