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A Cavity on a Porcelain Veneer


A Cavity on a Porcelain Veneer

Posted by writeradmin

I have a porcelain veneer that has developed a cavity. My dentist is saying the best thing is to remove the porcelain veneer and then replace it with a dental crown. Other than a small cavity at something called a margin, the tooth is healthy. Is a crown really necessary?


Dear Janet,

An image of a porcelain veneer being held up by a dental tool.

I am glad you wrote. My strong suggestion is that you get a second opinion on this. For a tooth to need a dental crown because of a cavity, it would have needed to have impacted at a minimum 20% of the tooth. You said it was a small cavity on the margin.

I would be very careful about this. Very few dentists or the laboratories they use for their work could match a dental crown to a porcelain veneer. So why would your dentist suggest a porcelain crown instead of a veneer? I suspect it is because your dentist has neither the equipment nor the skill to place a composite filling on a porcelain veneer. That is tricky. I recommend finding an expert cosmetic dentist who knows how to do the procedure you actually need.

As for the decay on the margin. This is the most vulnerable part of the porcelain veneers. The good news is this is not a difficult thing to prevent. First, make sure you are flossing every day. The flossing, when done properly, will clean the margin. A second precaution you can do is to limit your snacking. This will allow the minerals in your saliva to have the time it needs to fight bacteria as it was designed to do.

Every dentist has different aspects of dentistry that they love and focus on. Cosmetic dentistry may not be in your dentist’s wheelhouse. You need to be careful though, because it is not a recognized specialty. When looking for a cosmetic dentist, check to see what post-doctoral training they have in cosmetic work, then take the additional precaution of looking at their smile gallery in order to check if they have the artistry to do a good job.

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