Something that I’ve seen a lot of lately is crowns being placed where veneers were the best option, and vice versa. Patients enter our practice experiencing issues that could have been avoided if they were treated correctly the first time.
I think this is an important subject to talk about because oftentimes patients will blindly trust their dentist to choose the best treatment. They don’t ask questions because they don’t know enough about their options. That’s why it’s important to (1) find a dentist that you trust and (2) educate yourself on the different treatment options.
Crown v. Veneer
In order to understand the problem with switching the placement of crowns and veneers, it’s important to know about the two treatment options.
For patients with relatively healthy teeth (no fillings and strong enamel), a veneer is always the best option. Veneers are much more conservative than crowns and allow patients to maintain their existing enamel, which is much stronger than a crown.
Crowns are often placed on teeth that have had fillings. This can be for aesthetic reasons, or because the fillings have started to fail and the tooth is not strong enough on its own.
The problem with switching treatments
There are a number of problems that can result from patients receiving the wrong treatment. If a crown is placed on a healthy tooth that would be better suited with a veneer, the patient will lose enamel that they didn’t need to give up. The result is weakened teeth, post-op sensitivity and bite problems.
If a veneer is placed on a tooth that has fillings and needs a crown, the bond of the veneer will be weak and allow bacteria to seep between the enamel and the veneer. Here, bacteria cannot be removed with brushing and flossing, which can result in tooth decay that may require a root canal. As a rule, you should not end a veneer on filling material.
Asking the right questions
Whether it’s your first time at a dental practice or you’ve been seeing the same dentist for 20 years, it’s important to understand your treatment options. Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with the recommended procedure. If you don’t feel comfortable for any reason, get a second opinion.
If you’re unsure of the best treatment option for your aesthetic goals, call our office to set up a consultation. I’d be happy to answer your questions and provide you with resources to make an education decision.