It has been many years since a cosmetic dentist put crowns on all of my front teeth. Now that I think about it, it has probably been close to 15 years ago. I’ve been pretty happy with them and haven’t had any issues overall. Then, a couple weeks ago I noticed that one of them felt like it was wiggling a little bit.
I went to see a new cosmetic dentist to see if it could be fixed. He informed me that there has been decay around the edge of the crown and that it will need to be replaced. He has recommended that I just get them all done at the same time, so they match one another. That was a surprise because the grand total feels like a stretch on my budget. It would work better for me financially to have them done one at a time. But, I really don’t want to have teeth that are mismatched.
Does having them all done at once sound like the right thing to do? Do you have any other recommendations?
-Theresa in Indiana
I know you mentioned that you saw a new cosmetic dentist, but I have reservations as to whether or not he truly is a cosmetic dentist. The larger issue here is that cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty area within dentistry. This means that any family dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist without any additional training or expertise beyond dental school. Also, it turns out that less than two percent of dentists have the high level of skill required to do beautiful cosmetic dentistry. An excellent cosmetic dentist would have no problem replacing a crown on a front tooth and getting it to blend in perfectly with the surrounding teeth. Therefore, this dentist may be trying to either make some extra money or more likely, it is a testament to his ability with placing crowns on front teeth. It may be easier for him to replace them all because he may not be confident that he can get the new crown to blend in naturally with the surrounding teeth. And it needs to be done right since the front teeth show when you smile.
Now, it is likely that the diagnosis of the margin being exposed is accurate based on the age of the crowns. This may be an indication that it’s time to take a closer look at the other crowns to see if there are starting to be issues if they are 15 years old. But, you need to know that having them blend in better isn’t a reason to get them all redone. It is absolutely possible for a skilled cosmetic dentist to do them one at a time.
As crowns age, they do need to be replaced. So, for your sake and convenience it may be worth the consideration to have the others done too, especially if there are any beginning to show any signs of decay. But, if budget is an issue for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with spacing them out as needed.
It is also worth stating that there is nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion, especially when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. Your front teeth are highly visible when you smile, so you want them to look lifelike and natural, and for all of them to be uniform in how they look. An independent opinion would give you a better inclination and understanding to learn more about if the others are close to needing replacement, or if they look fine for the time being. That may help you to better determine the right next steps for your individual needs.
Thank you for your question. Hopefully, this information was helpful to you.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD.