My left incisor is a porcelain veneer tooth. Two weeks ago, I had my annual exam and cleaning, and my dentist says the x-ray showed a cavity in that tooth. I have six other veneers and am happy they don’t have activities. My dentist’s first option is to replace the veneer with a crown. I am afraid to go this route. How do I know a mistake won’t happen, and my dentist will say I need an implant next? How common is it for a veneered tooth to get a cavity? – Thank you. Rich from Colorado
Thank you for your question.
Dr. Perry would need to examine your tooth, but we recommend not agreeing to treatment until you get a second opinion.
Although you did not mention the cavity size, it would need to be significant to require a crown. If your dentist places a crown, you will lose most of the tooth’s structure in preparation for the crown. And preparing an incisor for a dental crown will weaken it and increase the risk of breaking.
We recommend getting a second opinion if you have porcelain veneers and want to keep them. Look for a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training who works with a quality dental lab. The dentist will check your veneer and look for clues of what may have caused the cavity in the tooth.
Sometimes, a cavity in a veneered tooth is due to microleakage if the veneer is not sealed where it meets your tooth. Also, frequent snacking can increase the risk of decay on natural teeth and teeth with restorations.
After a second opinion to evaluate your tooth, another dentist can explain your treatment. If your tooth is not diseased beyond a cavity, you should not require a dental implant to replace it.
Dr. Ryan Perry, a Baton Rouge dentist, sponsors this post.