I have good news and bad news. The bad news: I have a number of patients who come to me because their teeth are in varying stages of wear and disrepair --shortened, chipped and fractured due to consistent friction, or worn away from an over exposure to acid. Harmful habits such as grinding and clenching, nail-biting, and chewing on ice can also be the culprits for this long-term damage.
And here’s the good news: As a restorative and cosmetic dentist, I know that these worn and damaged teeth can be restored to their naturally beautiful state. Porcelain veneers, crowns, or a combination of both can provide long-lasting solutions by strengthening and lengthening teeth to help improve each individual’s smile.
Back to the beginning
Of course, regardless of the patient’s issue, the most important thing is to determine why the teeth became damaged in the first place.
In my practice, we start with a thorough dental evaluation to measure the amount of wear present, and to see exactly how strong and healthy the teeth and supporting gums are. Then I take a good look at the patient’s bite to see if there are any specific teeth that are experiencing trauma due to excessive force. With this information I can decide if either a veneer or a crown is a viable long-lasting solution.
Veneer vs. crown: picking the perfect match
Choosing between a veneer and a crown depends on several factors. One important thing to consider is the amount of healthy tooth structure available. If it’s substantial, then a veneer is a realistic option. However, if the tooth has a large filling or is in a position that compromises the bite, a crown may be the better choice.
Regardless of whether I’m considering a veneer or crown, I provide every patient with a diagnostic wax up. This wax up can be transferred to the mouth as a way to show patients the proposed outcome -- almost like a dress rehearsal for their new smile.
Your new smile’s here
Once we’ve decided what the final restoration’s shape, form, and color should be, we send the specifications to the lab so they can create the restoration. And then, finally, we deliver the completed, customized product to the patient, and then put it into place to help create a more beautiful smile.
Playing it safe
And, to make sure my patients are able to enjoy their restorations for as long as possible, I always recommend that they get a nightguard to absorb any grinding or clenching that might put their porcelain restoration at risk.
So while a certain amount of wear and tear to teeth is unavoidable (and depending on certain factors, maybe even likely) it’s good to know that I can offer my patients a solution that is just right for them and their smile. And that, is the best news of all.
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