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Smile Makeover: Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting Veneers And Porcelain Crowns

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If you're tired of your dingy, crooked smile a smile makeover is the perfect solution to boost your confidence and give you a smile you want to share. Two of the most common methods for improving your smile are porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. When considering veneers and/or porcelain crowns, make sure to ask yourself these four questions.

Which Problems and Teeth Are You Trying to Fix?

First, consider what oral problems you want to fix. Are your teeth discolored and can't be fixed with whitening? Do you have uneven, crooked or gap teeth? Good news, all these can be fixed with both veneers and porcelain crowns. If your concerns are related to gum problems, such as receding and inflamed gums, veneers and porcelain crowns may not be a good option as they tend to irritate the gums, causing them to recede more.

Which teeth you want to fix will hugely impact whether you should get veneers or crowns. Veneers can only be placed on front teeth, so if you're only interested in fixing the front teeth, veneers are a great option. If you want to fix your back teeth, crowns are the only option. That being said, however, there's nothing wrong with getting veneers on your front teeth and crowns on your back teeth if you want a total smile makeover.

Are Your Teeth Weak?

Weak teeth that have large fillings, cracks or cavities are prone to further decay, infection and breakage. If your teeth are significantly weak, porcelain crowns are a great choice. Not only will they improve your smile, but they will also strengthen your teeth, reducing the risk of future problems.

On the other hand, veneers are not designed to strengthen your teeth. They are purely cosmetic, and the procedure may actually weaken your teeth further. If, however, the cracks in your front teeth are just surface-level, you may still be a candidate for veneers. These types of cracks don't usually affect the structure of the teeth. They do, however, expose your dentin, which allows bacteria to enter and causes discoloration.  

Do You Have Good Oral Hygiene?

If you have major decay and large cavities, you probably don't have the best oral hygiene habits, but it's time to change that. Even if you get crowns, which protect all sides of your teeth, your teeth are still prone to decay along the gum line. If you get veneers, only the front surface of your teeth are protected from bacteria.

Veneers and porcelain crowns are expensive, and without proper oral hygiene after the procedure, you're increasing your risk of gum recession, gum inflammation and decay at the exposed sites. This, in turn, shortens the life of the veneer or crown, forcing you to require retreatment sooner, which requires additional money, pain and time.

Are You Ready to Permanently Alter Your Teeth?

Veneers and porcelain crowns require your teeth to be permanently altered by removing the enamel. Crowns require more structure to be removed because they must fit the entire tooth, not just the front. However, with both scenarios, your teeth are filed down, so the veneer or crown can fit comfortably.

This process is irreversible. In other words, once you get a veneer or crown, you will always need a veneer or crown. You cannot change your mind because without the protective layer of enamel or the veneer/crown, your teeth are extremely susceptible to sensitivity, major decay and infection.

Veneers and crowns are great for improving the look of your smile, but they require your teeth to be altered, and only crowns strengthen your teeth. If you still feel veneers and/or porcelain crowns are a good option for you, contact a local cosmetic dentist and schedule a consultation today.