My dentist says that a tooth I have a porcelain veneer on has a cavity. He wants to remove it and replace it with a dental crown. Is that really necessary? Can’t I just replace it with another veneer? It was my old dentist who did these veneers and he sold his practice. I feel like I’m trapped with a lesser version of my old dentist.
I haven’t seen your tooth, but have some concerns here. I’d like to bring up a couple of things to consider and you can go from there. First, it would have to be a fairly substantial cavity to require a dental crown. I would say at a minimum 20-30% of the tooth should be gone. If that is not the case there is no reason for a dental crown. You can just replace the porcelain veneer. So, let’s say you don’t need the crown. Why would he suggest one?
The most common reason a dentist suggests a dental crown instead of a porcelain veneer is they are not yet skilled in porcelain veneers. Crowns are taught in dental school. Doing a smile makeover is not. That brings me to the second thing to consider. Does your current dentist have the skills to make this tooth match even if it is a crown? I doubt it. Only about 2% of cosmetic dentists in the country are skilled enough to match a single crown to a porcelain veneer.
In your position, I would get a second opinion with an AACD accredited cosmetic dentist. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the world. You can do an internet search for one in your area or visit the website for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.com) and do a search there. Be aware that membership is different than accreditation. Any dentist can pay to be a member. To become accredited, however, means passing stringent oral and written exams as well as having actual cosmetic cases they’ve done examined by an accreditation board. Even if you have to travel to a nearby city or state to find one, it will be worth the results.
This blog is brought to you by La Jolla Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.