On and off, since 2015, I’ve battled with dry mouth. Two weeks ago, one of the three veneers on my front teeth chipped. I have a crown on another front tooth, and my gums are receding above it. My dry mouth is starting to burn, and I think it’s getting worse. I’ve been talking to my dentist about whitening my teeth. He recommends upper and lower crowns on all my teeth. He does Zoom whitening, and I was hoping he would offer it, but he says it’s not an option for me. Now I’m wondering if crowns are a good idea since my mouth is so dry.
Should I get veneers on the rest all my teeth instead of crowns? I am wondering if I should get tested to see why my mouth is so dry before my dentist does any work to whiten them. Thanks! Tricia
Run fast! Your dentist is recommending full-mouth reconstruction to whiten your teeth. This aggressive treatment would grind down all your natural teeth to whiten them with crowns. The recommendation from your dentist is excessive and unnecessary. It makes us skeptical about his skill and ethics.
Concerns about Full-Mouth Reconstruction for Whiter Teeth
1. Teeth bleaching or full-mouth reconstruction?
In-office teeth bleaching is the treatment of choice to quickly brighten your smile, and it costs about $200. Your teeth and gums need to be healthy before you receive it, but other than the bleaching gel, your dentist won’t need to alter your tooth structure.
In contrast, crowns for all your teeth will cost $30,00 – $60,000. Full-mouth reconstruction rebuilds your mouth. And there are serious risks if it’s completed incorrectly:
- Misalign your bite
- Affect your speech and facial appearance
- Lead to TMJ disorder or lip incompetence (the inability to keep your lips together when your mouth is at rest)
2. Replacing porcelain veneers with crowns
If your dentist wants to replace your veneers with crowns, it’s likely because he isn’t comfortable with providing porcelain veneers. But for advanced cosmetic dentists, providing beautiful porcelain veneers is a fundamental skill.
Whenever possible, ethical dentists provide treatment that preserves as much natural tooth structure as possible. Teeth whitening doesn’t change your tooth structure. Stubborn stains like tetracycline or fluorosis might require porcelain veneers, but unlike dental crowns, your teeth don’t need to be shaved down to stumps to receive veneers.
3. Dry mouth
Many factors can cause dry mouth, including certain medical conditions or medications, stress, or breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. If a dentist isn’t skilled at full-mouth reconstruction, it can open your bite too far, prevent your lips from closing when your mouth is at rest, and increase dry mouth. Your stress will also increase.
Based on your description, your dentist has shown that he isn’t able to restore your smile in a way that is minimally invasive to your natural tooth structure. Unless you have stubborn teeth stains, bleaching will whiten them. And your porcelain veneers and the crown can be made to match your white teeth. We suggest that you schedule an appointment with an advanced—preferably accredited—cosmetic dentist for an examination and explanation of your treatment options.
This post is sponsored by Monroe, LA, accredited fellow of cosmetic dentistry, Dr. David Finley. He has extensive training and experience in full-mouth reconstruction.