I am frustrated and worried after getting a full smile makeover of veneer crowns. He did twelve teeth on top and ten on the bottom. The temporary veneer crowns felt okay, but after the permanent ones went on, I started having problems. My dentist looked it over and said that on one of the teeth there’s an abscess and also has the nerves dying. He sent me to an endodontist to have the root canal done and that dentist found four more teeth that failed some kind of test and needed root canals too. My dentist told me there were no risks to this smile makeover so I’m really frustrated and confused. I went back and asked him about it and he said I was just unlucky and he’s never seen this happen. He’s offered to cover half the cost of the root canals, but I’m still out of a LOT of money here and I’m worried the rest of the teeth are going to have the same problem one by one. Have you heard of this happening before?
I’m a bit concerned by what I am hearing and I want to start by defining some terms. There are porcelain veneers and there are porcelain crowns, but there is not anything called veneer crowns. So, right off the bat, we need to figure out what you received. Based on the need for root canal treatments, I think you received dental crowns and NOT porcelain veneers. If your dentist told you he was giving you porcelain veneers, but gave you crowns, he could be in a lot of trouble. Here’s how to tell which you have.
Porcelain Veneers Versus Porcelain Crowns
With dental crowns, your teeth have to be ground down to nubs in order to fit the crown. You will notice it fits completely over your tooth and you’ll be able to feel them on the back of your teeth as well. This is a much more aggressive treatment and should not be used for a smile makeover unless there were extenuating circumstances that necessitated it. You didn’t mention anything that made me think you needed crowns rather than veneers.
With porcelain veneers, you do not need much tooth structure removed at all. Typically, a dentist will remove a few millimeters, about the depth of a fingernail. These cover the front of your teeth and hug the sides a little but will not be on the back of your teeth. It would be extraordinarily unusual for your teeth to need a root canal with a veneer.
I think your dentist gave you crowns. I also think he was too aggressive in the tooth preparation which is why the nerves are dying. My suspicion is he knows that as well because he offered to pay for a portion of the root canal treatments. I would press your dentist into paying for all the root canal treatments. This should not have happened.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.