I’ve got four metal-based crowns. I’ve never been thrilled with them. They’ve always looked more cloudy than my natural teeth, but it was better than no teeth. Lately, though, there’s been this dark line at my gumline. It’s making it impossible for me to smile without feeling humiliated. I’ve started avoiding going out in public. Last night, I saw an article about porcelain veneers. The pictures were stunning. First, are they really that gorgeous or was that clever photoshopping? Second, can I switch out my metal-based crowns with porcelain veneers?
Millie M. – Indiana
No one should be embarrassed to smile. With that said, I don’t want you to feel alone. There are many people (Americans especially) who are unhappy with some aspect of their smile. We want perfection. Cloudy teeth you can maybe get away with. It’s not ideal, but it’s not necessarily distracting or ugly. A gray line at your gumline is both distracting and ugly. I understand your desire to make a switch.
Porcelain veneers really can be that stunning. Whether they are or not depends on the skill of the cosmetic dentist. A skilled, artistic cosmetic dentist can give you a gorgeous smile. Toward that end, I have good news and bad news regarding switching out your crowns with veneers.
First, the bad news. You cannot. It doesn’t matter what type of crown it is. The reason is the structural difference between the two treatments. Porcelain veneers bond to the very front of the teeth. Hardly any tooth structure is removed to place them. Dental crowns, on the other hand, fit over the entirety of your teeth, which requires grinding down a large amount of tooth structure. Because of that, there’s not enough tooth left for the veneers to be bonded to.
Now for the good news. You can still replace these ugly crowns and get a gorgeous smile. Instead of replacing your metal-based crowns with porcelain veneers, you can replace them with all-porcelain crowns. These can be created just as beautifully as porcelain veneers. Unlike their metal-based relations, all-porcelain crowns will not look cloudy. It’s the base that makes which makes that necessary in order to hide the metal. Also, you’ll never have to worry about them developing that unsightly gray line.
The key will be the dentist. The get the best results, look for an AACD accredited dentist. Accreditation is different than membership. You can purchase membership. Accreditation is earned by demonstrating proficiency in both technical skill and artistry.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.