Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

September 29, 2007

New porcelain/zirconia crowns are too big

Filed under: Crowns for front teeth — mesasmiles @ 3:57 pm

Dr. Hall,
I just spent thousands of dollars on dental work. We finally got to the end with 4 Porcelain/zirconuim crowns on my top front teeth. They are bulky, they are thick front to back and they stick out a little further than my adjacent teeth. My dentist said that they restored my teeth to what they would have been prior to decay. My teeth were NEVER this big. What can I do as far as my dentist if I am not happy. I thought I would be smiling all the time but now I can’t even stand to look at them.
– Debbie from Texas

You’re another example of what I hear so much. I think the best you can do is help tell your friends to go to an artist/expert cosmetic dentist for their beautiful smile, not to their wonderful, kind, family dentist, so they don’t end up with this same problem.

I’m reading a little in between the lines and making some assumptions here, but it sounds like your dentist is the typical technician-minded dentist who was trained that he or she knows what is best for the patient and thinks that you’re making too big a deal of this appearance issue. The dentist did what he or she thought was best for you, and in their mind, this is their job, and you’re just supposed to accept that.

A true cosmetic dentist understands all the ingredients of a beautiful smile and gives a lot more attention to these appearance issues. He or she will work with you in designing exactly how your teeth will look BEFORE ever doing the case, and then will give you ample opportunity to try the crowns in before they’re cemented to make sure they look the way you want them to. Most general dentists will hand you a mirror while you’re upside-down in the chair and let you have one quick look before they’re permanently cemented. What you really need is the chance to sit up, let your lips assume their natural position, and get a good long time to check them out. Then you know they’re right. Dentists like we list on our web site who are passionate about appearance-related dentistry will make sure you like them before they’re cemented.

At this point, they’re cemented in. Porcelain/zirconia crowns can’t really be trimmed in size much because the dentist would grind through the surface porcelain to the zirconia core, which would give an unacceptable result. If you’re sweet and insistent and communicate how much you hate these crowns, you may be able to talk your dentist into re-doing them and this time making sure you have ample opportunity to see that they’re what you want before they’re permanently cemented. But he or she wouldn’t be legally required to do that because the way most dentists think, it’s the dentist’s job to decide how they should look and whether or not you like them isn’t an important issue.

Dr. Hall

Read more about:
porcelain crowns
porcelain crowns for front teeth
the difference between an expert cosmetic dentist and a general dentist
other types of all-porcelain crowns including zirconia crowns
smile design

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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