By Kenneth J Canzoneri DDS
Patient Question: My dentist told me that I need a “bunch” of crowns and veneers. I don’t need a movie star smile. I just want my teeth fixed but I don’t want to mortgage the house to do it. Why can’t I have a “bunch” of regular fillings instead? Signed: Anti-Hollywood smile
Dear Anti-Hollywood: As most of the readers know I do numerous Bite Reconstructions and Smile Rejuvenation’s. It is important to know that crowns and or veneers are indicated for a number of reasons other than just a “beautiful “smile. Crowns / veneers are needed to rebuild teeth that have been severely worn, cracked or ravaged by decay. If a patient decides on a large oversized filling there is a definite possibility that the tooth will possibly fracture and that may lead to a root canal and at worst an extraction of the tooth.
I’m asked almost every week if I would rather prepare a tooth for a crown or a veneer. That actually is an easy question. If conservation of healthy tissue is the goal of any surgeon than a veneer is a definite option. When you prepare a tooth for a veneer you remove a small amount of enamel from the front surface of the tooth and sometimes from the side and chewing edge of a tooth. When preparing a crown, tooth structure is removed from all sides of the tooth. In many situations, even though a veneer is a more conservative option, a crown is indicated due to extensive decay, loss of excessive healthy tooth structure or advanced cosmetics needs.
Always feel free to ask your dentist about your treatment options. Remember conservation of health tooth and gums is paramount.