My dentist is pressuring me to get Invisalign before he places crowns. It almost feels like a threat – do Invisalign treatment or else. I’ve had these crowns for 18 years. They are old, worn, and yellow. I can see that most of my upper teeth are crooked and I have an overbite, but my budget doesn’t allow for braces, Invisalign, or any other orthodontics. But I do need crowns, and with my insurance, I can afford to get new ones. I’m not trying to get a perfect smile. Am I unreasonable? I feel like switching dentists, but that is so inconvenient, and until now, I’ve liked my dentist. Thanks. Jonah from TX
It is inconvenient to switch dentists, but it’s also uncomfortable when a dentist restricts treatment because they think you should have a perfect smile. Although a functional and beautiful smile is healthy and builds your confidence, we understand that patients have a budget. Pressuring you to get a treatment that you can’t afford doesn’t make sense. It creates stress.
You have the right to get your crowns replaced without Invisalign or any orthodontic treatment. And if you have a cosmetic dentist, he or she should be willing to place quality crowns that function well and look great. If your dentist can confirm that your oral health will deteriorate without orthodontic treatment, you might consider braces in the future. And if you choose orthodontics, it doesn’t have to be Invisalign. Low-profile braces are more affordable.
If Your Dentist Refuses Treatment Without Invisalign
You can try to reason with your dentist. If he isn’t understanding and willing to work with your budget, find another dentist.
All-ceramic crowns on front teeth will look natural. In contrast, crowns with a metal foundation will eventually show through at your gumline and create a dark frame around your teeth. And the darkness at your gumline will detract from your smile. Find an advanced cosmetic dentist who is comfortable with all-ceramic crowns. Don’t pressure any dentist to place all-ceramic crowns; just ask what type of crowns the dentist recommends. If he or she recommends porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, move along.
Advanced cosmetic dentists love doing all-ceramic crowns, so look for a dentist with post-graduate training in aesthetics. And ensure the dentist is willing to give you a natural-looking smile without insisting that you get Invisalign first.
David Finley, DDS, an accredited fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, in Monroe, LA, sponsors this post.