I’ve seen two dentists, and both want to do my smile makeover with crowns. I thought I would be able to get porcelain veneers, but they say that I need crowns on all the top teeth that show when I smile. Some molar teeth need crowns tooth. I know my teeth are worn and decayed but couldn’t I get veneers, so the entire tooth doesn’t have to be covered? – Thanks. Korry from Mobile, AL
Although there are no rules about when a porcelain crown is used instead of a veneer, most advanced cosmetic dentists reserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible. Whenever possible, they will recommend a veneer instead of a crown. When are crowns recommended first?
Reasons Your Dentist Might Recommend Crowns
- Weak teeth – Porcelain veneers are attached to the fronts of your natural teeth. You need enough healthy tooth structure and strength to support a veneer.
- Severe decay – Your dentist will remove decay from your teeth. When little tooth structure is left, your dentist will cover the tooth with a crown.
- Control your bite – Sometimes, the structure of a crown is needed to control your bite—the way your teeth upper and lower teeth meet you bite or whew.
Ask for an Explanation
Regardless of which cosmetic dentist you choose, he or she should explain the reason for treatment recommendations. Before you receive a crown, your dentist will remove a lot of structure around the tooth’s circumference. But porcelain veneers only require light shaving on the front of each tooth. And they are more expensive than crowns. No doubt, there are good reasons that both dentists recommend crowns instead of veneers, but you deserve an explanation.
You also mentioned that you need crowns on back teeth. Molar teeth receive the force and pressure of chewing and grinding. They need the protection and support of a dental crown to withstand everyday forces against them. You can receive durable metal-free crowns. Your dentist will let you know which crowns are right for your smile.
Also, let your dentist know if you clench or grind your teeth, and he or she can provide you with a custom nightguard to protect your smile makeover.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, LA, accredited fellow of cosmetic dentistry sponsors this post.