I was recently in an accident that fractured my one of my front teeth and the tooth next to it. They did not break off, but both were very noticeably cracked. I was out of town and had to go to an emergency dentist for a repair, and the bonding is not the right color at all. I had to have a root canal on the front tooth, and the dentist said that too will likely darken over time, and become brittle.
So I need to have some cosmetic work done. Before this accident, my smile was a real source of pride for me. My teeth have always been great, and most of them still are white and straight and beautiful. I’ve consulted my regular dentist, who says that I can get just the damaged teeth done with porcelain crowns. I’ve been reading, and it seems like to make the repair look right, I should get six or even eight crowns or porcelain veneers. I am also reading that I should consult with an accredited cosmetic dentist to do this work. Is that really necessary? I like my regular dentist, and he seems confident in doing the work, but he is not an accredited cosmetic dentist, and does not really advertise much as doing cosmetic work. I don’t want to have him stick a couple of crowns on my front teeth that look out of place. I would rather have them all done, even with the expense, than spend the rest of my life dealing with a mismatched smile.
What do you think? I want my smile back! It is one of my few claims to beauty, and I am willing to invest to get it back again. What should I do?
Thanks for your help,
Tracy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
First, consulting with a cosmetic dentist in this case is essential. You sound like you really just want to get your smile back to what it was before the accident, and a really skilled cosmetic dentist should be able to help you do that. The brief statement you made about the reading you have done indicates that you are eager to be educated about this and want to make the best decision. Experience has shown that the most important decision you make for this kind of dental care is in choosing the right dentist.
Nearly all dentists are what we call “technician” dentists. When things break, they are very good at fixing them, but may not be overly concerned with nuances of appearance. You had a beautiful smile, and you want it back again. The key to reclaiming your smile is in finding the right professional to help you do so.
Porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers may be possibly treatments, but it is also possible that a skilled cosmetic dentist could do dental bonding on the cracked tooth that is still viable. A great cosmetic dentist will get you beautiful results while leaving as much of your natural tooth structure intact as possible.