When my daughter was 8 the dentist I used said she had a calcium deficiency because her front teeth were discolored. He put porcelain veneers on the front ones. She is 11 now and the veneers are discol ored and decaying. We started using another dentist and he said that we needed to put crowns on the front teeth and she also needs braces. I am concerened of how will they put braces on caps and why cant the veneers be replaced?
Suzanne in Alabama
I’m not sure how many front teeth you’re talking about, and can’t tell whether your daughter needs crowns or not without an examination. But I can give you two possible reasons that the dentist wants to replace the porcelain veneers with crowns.
First would be that the dentist isn’t comfortable doing porcelain veneers. Many dentists aren’t. It isn’t taught in dental school, and many dentists just aren’t very excited about appearance-related dentistry because it is a very different field and they have to be artistic to enjoy that.
Or it could be that there is so much decay that now the teeth need porcelain crowns. Veneers only cover the fronts of the teeth. I would be surprised if your daughter at age 11 has that much tooth decay on these front teeth that she needs crowns, but maybe she does.
We really try to avoid doing porcelain crowns on young patients because when the teeth are young, they have very large pulp chambers, and the chances of irritating or injuring the tooth so that it needs a root canal treatment are large. And anytime we can do less grinding on the teeth to achieve the same result, the better it is.
As far as the braces go, the crowns wouldn’t be a problem. The orthodontist can work around that.
I think it would be prudent to seek a second opinion to see if she really needs crowns. Find a dentist who does a lot of porcelain veneers and see what he or she says.