I don’t think I’m being pretentious, but that’s what my dentist said. My son fell and gave his front tooth a rather large chip. Oral health is important to me, including the appearance of his smile. I wanted the dentist to give him a porcelain veneer or crown to repair the chip. He said I was being pretentious and would give my son a complex about his appearance. I just want him to have healthy teeth. What do you recommend? I’d prefer an actual recommendation without insulting me, please.
First, your dentist behaved inappropriately. Even if he thought you were being pretentious, which he obviously did, good chairside manner means not insulting your patients. That’s dentistry 101. Plus, if it’s important to you, it should be important to him. All that being said, both porcelain veneers and crowns are the wrong solution for your son. I will give you a better solution after I explain why.
Your son’s bite and jaw are still developing. That means it’s undergoing constant change. He’ll outgrow his veneers quickly and regularly. That’s a very expensive way to repair his smile. Plus it removes unnecessary tooth structure.
As far as a dental crown goes, there are rare occasions when a child needs a crown. But, it would be a mistake in his case. While porcelain veneers remove a minimal amount of tooth structure, porcelain crowns remove a substantial amount. The tooth has to be ground down to a nub in order to make room for the crown. That’s a lot of healthy tooth structure to essentially just throw away.
When Are Porcelain Veneers a Good Solution
Porcelain veneers are great for adults who want to remake several things about their smile. Veneers can completely change the character of your smile, mixing changes in color, shape, and size. A lot of celebrities have their gorgeous smiles because of a skilled cosmetic dentist designing their porcelain veneers.
A Better Solution for a Chipped Tooth
The go-to solution for chipped teeth is dental bonding, even for adults. This is where a cosmetic dentist will use a composite resin to hand sculpt the missing part of his tooth. It’s perfect even for a growing bite because it’s only on the missing part.
Here’s the thing, I don’t think you and your current dentist are a good fit. He obviously doesn’t care about cosmetics and you do. You will always be at odds. It’s very likely he doesn’t know cosmetic procedures and he’s “covering” for that by trying to make you feel vain for even asking for them. He’d rather insult you than admit he doesn’t know how to do it.
Look up some other dentists in your area and check out their reviews. Also, check their smile gallery to make sure they get attractive results you’d be proud to wear when it comes to cosmetic procedures.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.