My 19-year old daughter doesn't have enamel on her upper front teeth. Her dentist advised that we pursue procelain veneers at $1200 per tooth. My job was downsized in March, and as an older job candidate, and because of the current economy, it's unlikely I'll return to my former income. My husband, who works in the financial district, has experienced a $20,000 loss of income due to loss of overtime pay. We have borrowed money so that our daughter can attend a private research university, and, to shorten this, we just can't pay. What are our options? Thanks
Porcelain Veneers for Lost Enamel? Other Options for Front Teeth?
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Doctor Answers 4
Options for front teeth
The only less expensive option is bonding. It won't last as long, but it can still look good. Porcelain veneers aren't likely to last a lifetime on a 19 year old either.
Bonding can also work
Porcelain veneers are very beautiful and lifelike, however when finances are a concern you have to consider other alternatives. Direct resin bonding can be very pleasing esthetically as well when done by an artistic dentist. There are new resin filling materials available today that when placed carefully can look very beautiful.
It's true that bonded restorations can discolour with time, and will most likely need replacing sooner than veneers but they can still last for a number of years. If your daughter is self-concious about her smile, and you can't afford porcelain veneers at this time, perhaps regular bonding would be a good choice, knowing that down the road you always have the option of upgrading to porcelain.
The other thing to consider is the reason for the loss of enamel. Is it acid erosion, heredity, traumatic injury (caused by some sort of accident). Also does it involve just the front 2 teeth or is it more teeth than that.
Veneers are the best option for lost or missing enamel
Bonding generally is not a good option as it is not as durable and rarely as esthetic. While the fees may sound high, they are cheaper in the long run.
If the enamel is lost due to genetics, full crowns might be needed as the tooth structure itself bonds differently than normal.
An experienced cosmetic dentist can help you decide, but the options truly are limited.
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