The reason I am writing this blog is because people are often confused about which option is right for them.  Should I get a porcelain veneer or a porcelain crown?   With todays advents in cosmetic dentistry we can enhance smiles and change lives through custom fabricated porcelain veneers or crowns.

Both these procedures can correct chipped, cracked, misaligned, multi color, yellow or grey colored teeth. It is an instant change with absolutely no down time.

Whether your dentist recommends a veneer or a crown depends on many factors.  In the presence of pre-existing large fillings, large crack lines, a very heavy bite, grinding or clenching habits a porcelain crown will likely be recommended for added protection and support.

If the chipping or rotations are minimal, and the objective is mostly cosmetic rather than functional, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers.

There is another option which is in between a veneer and a crown and it is called a 3/4 crown.  The preparation of the tooth is in between a veneer and a crown.

For both crowns and veneers the procedure goes as follows:

Prior to starting the case, we do what is called a “wax up”.  This is a representation of what I think your teeth should look like on a stone model and in wax.  This is reviewed with you to see if there are any desired changes.  The shape of the teeth are based on shape of your face, previous pictures, or pictures of some smiles that you like, in addition to function and bite.

It is very important to whiten your teeth prior to getting any cosmetic work done.  Allow two weeks for the color to stabilize prior to your first appointment.

Once  shape and color is established, then our second visit is to prepare the teeth for a porcelain crown or veneer.  At this appointment you will leave the office with your beautiful temporary that is duplicated from the wax up and customized to your teeth.  This will give you a chance to actually wear the teeth and evaluate the shape, length, and get some opinions from loved ones.  If no changes are desired we proceed to fabrication of the porcelain veneers or crowns.

The next visit, we bond the veneers or crowns in!!  This is the fun visit.

It is very important that a good dental laboratory is utilized.  Your dentist’s work is as good as his or her dental lab allows him/her to be.  Laboratory technicians are fantastic artists.  We often send our patients to our lab for custom shading and to establish a relationship with our technician.

Whatever your dentist recommends, I find that all porcelain crowns or veneers are  beautiful, natural and functional restorations to give you the smile that you have always dreamed of.  Here at Lifetime Smiles, I have been changing smiles for 20 years.  As a dentist, there is nothing more gratifying than watching tears of joy.  Call us today at 760-747-1811 and see for yourself how we can improve your smile.  Also check out our new patient promotions!

Dr. Rabee McDonald

I am a 1995 graduate of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine and completed my post-doctorate training at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center at Newark, New Jersey. I am proud to provide my patients with the best in dental technology, treatment options and patient comfort. I spend several weekends a year at the world renowned Spear Education center to keep up with best dentists in the world.