Why Does my Dentist Recommend Crowns Instead of Veneers? My Teeth Are Healthy

I am 46 y.o. and have many root canals and crowns (molars only). The overall appearance of my teeth is very nice and I receive compliments often on my smile. I told the dentist I am unhappy with the old molars (done by someone else, we've moved and this is a new dentist for me). The old molars are discolored and I was looking to replace them closer to uniform whiteness throughout. He immediately suggested crowning every tooth in my mouth. I saw no examples of veneers in his portfolio. Thx!

Doctor Answers 7

What is best for molar teeth?

It sounds like you have several issues..  Veneers are normally not recommended for posterior (molar) teeth.  They are just not strong enough to support the pressure of normal chewing…   

Crowns are treatment planned for any tooth that has had root canal therapy.  Root canal therapy removes the pulp chamber from the tooth.. once this is completed the tooth may become brittle.  An additional procedure, post and core, is completed followed by a crown to help support the root canal treated tooth… This, however, doesn’t guarantee the longevity of the tooth…  

Crowns are also treatment planned for a tooth that has more that ½ filling or decay to provide the same type of strength.

It is not normally recommended to simply crown molar teeth just for appearance… Better to keep healthy un-restored teeth alone …  J


Baltimore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Why Did DDS Recommend Crowns Over Veneers for Healthy Teeth

If you are happy with the appearance of your front teeth I certainly would not have them crowned.  If they are healthy and you want a change in appearance veneers certainly would work, but again not necessary if you are pleased with your smile.  I would suggest to get a second opinion/treatment plan more in line with your goals.

Donald L. Wilcox, DDS
Glendale Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Crowns on every tooth

Without doing an exam or seeing xrays, it is hard to recommoned exactly what you need, but maybe I can give you some guidance.  If a tooth has no fillings or a root canal, and especially in the front, I would recommend only veneers.  Veeners are a good choice  if you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and have tried teeth whitening already.  However, on the posterior teeth, which it sounds like you have root canals and crowns, I would recommend crowns.  Also, there are different types of crowns.  Usually, we prefer non-metal crowns in our practice.  It is important to be able to have a discussion with your dentist about all of your options.

Toni Margio, DMD
Las Vegas Dentist

Once crowned, teeth will always be crowned

The suggestion to replace the old crowns may be correct, but the only choice is to be crowns again, as veneering on top of crowns is often a bad idea.  In the front, where there seems to be no current restorations, veneers should be explored.  If the dentist says they can't be done, it may be an indication that they don't know how to do them or understand the bonding process.  The goal should be a conservative approach, as in doing the least amount of treatment needed to achieve the goal.

When a plan for a full mouth of crowns is suggested, and the explanation from the dentist seems odd, a second  opinion (with clinical exam) is a good idea.  It is POSSIBLE that you have been given correct advice, but with an investment like this, you should be 100% comfortable with the decision.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Porcelain Veneers or Crowns?

Without pictures or an exam it is difficult to give you the answer to this question, but here are my thoughts.  It sounds as though that this is a pretty aggressive treatment plan based on what you said that your desires were.  You said that you were only interested in replacing some old crowns on your molars.  I think that a more consonservative treatment would be to begin with "laser whitening" your teeth.  After you have reached the desired color, then begin replacing crowns to match your existing teeth.  Make sure that when the crowns are replaced that an all porcelain material (Emax) is used to give you the most durable and aesthetic result.  Good luck. 

Scott Young, DDS
Houston Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Crowning good teeth

I think you had a gut reaction.  I always tell people to trust their gut reaction.  You may need a certain number of crowns, but the reason for crowning any tooth should be compelling - meaning you have full trust in the provider and are convinced of his reason for crowning whatever teeth he proposes.  Intact front teeth should be veneered if anything.  If you are happy with them don't do anything. If you want certain old crowns to be be replaced just do them.  However sometimes there will be the need to do additional work on a RCT tooth that you can't anticipate until after you take the crown unfortunately. 

That being said, sometimes there is a reason to crown all the teeth if there are substantial bite or occlusion issues.  This is a gray area, some subscribe to it, others feel it is overtreatment at times.

Definitely get some additional opinions and request all ceramic eMax crowns - they are the only way to go

Lawrence Singer, DMD
Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Ask your dentist questions..

By your description alone your front teeth seem to be free of any restorations, if so I would suggest leaving them as is, or if your unhappy with the shade you can always have a whitening procedure done.  If you would like to change the size & shape of them then I would suggest veneers since they dont require your enamel to be reduced as much as a crown would.  As far as your molars, unfortunately once a tooth has had a crown done you have to always replace it with another crown. Of course you would need an exam & xrays to properly suggest any kind of treatment.

Javier Garcia, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.