I recently had some trauma to a front tooth which required a root canal treatment. My new dentist is well-known for his cosmetic skills. I haven’t utilized that yet. However, he is suggesting a porcelain veneer on the tooth. Everyone I know who’s had a root canal treatment received a crown over the tooth. I would think that would be more secure. Is he suggesting a veneer because he’s a cosmetic dentist? Which is the better restoration after a root canal?
In dental school, if a student is asked the question, “What restoration do you use with a root canal treatment?” The expected answer is a dental crown. Most of the time, that’s the right answer. Often a crown is needed because there is too much decay and the tooth has to be ground down and protected. When there isn’t decay, you have more of an option.
On back teeth, a dental crown still makes sense because of the way we chew and how that affects our biting force. However, on front teeth, it’s a completely different story. Our biting force with front teeth is lateral, meaning the lower front teeth push forward on the uppers, and the upper front teeth push backward on the lowers.
Look at the two images above. The tooth prepped for the dental crown is ground down. That particular prep is very conservative, so that tooth will be stronger than most crowned teeth. Think about if that front tooth was hit with something. There is not enough of a base to keep the tooth secure. It will break.
Now look at the tooth prepped for a porcelain veneer. It removes much less tooth structure giving it a much stronger base.
This means on a front tooth, a dental crown would weaken the tooth. A porcelain veneer actually makes more sense.
That long answer to your question means, your dentist was right. A porcelain veneer is a great restoration in your case.
Who Should Place Your Porcelain Veneer?
When you’re talking about a porcelain veneer on a single front tooth, you need an expert cosmetic dentist. You seem to have one. You mentioned your dentist was known for his cosmetic dentistry. However, for the benefit of those who are reading this and don’t already have a well-known cosmetic dentist let me tell them what to look for.
When you need an expert cosmetic dentist, I would suggest you go to the aacd.com website. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has an accreditation program. Those who reach accreditation are the best of the best of cosmetic dentists. They will give you a gorgeous porcelain veneer. If you’re after a total smile makeover, you will get a stunning smile.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.