It started with TV reality shows depicting cosmetic, plastic and dental transformation.
In recent years, aggressive marketing of “instant makeover” treatment options, with various attractive terms such as Smile Design and Smile makeover have convinced many patients, including teenagers and young adults with sound and healthy teeth, that these are the best treatment options for them.
‘Instant Orthodontics’ with Veneers or Crowns?
Many patients are often tempted to consider ‘quick-fix’ measures (usually in the form of veneers or crowns, aggressive reshaping, devitalisation of teeth and even extraction for replacement with dental implants) to improve their smiles as conventional orthodontic treatment takes time and can be inconvenient.
Our advice: get a second opinion if necessary and have a full understanding of the pros and cons of each option before embarking on any major treatment.
A proper and well proven treatment approach will save us from being saddled with subsequent extensive repair and costly retreatment.
Most misalignment of healthy teeth can be treated easily and cost-effectively with various aesthetic orthodontic options.
It must be borne in mind that veneers and crowns involves irreversible removal of tooth structure.
When a malaligned front tooth is prepared for a veneer or crown, extensive and irreversible removal of the enamel layer from the tooth is required. This is a very unfavorable situation that increases the likelihood of a unnatural, bulky and opaque-looking veneers or crowns.
These artificial prostheses may fail to meet the patient’s aesthetic expectation due to its unnatural appearance.
This can be from a colour, size and shape mismatch, bulky contour or uniform opaque look from a lack of natural translucency at some parts of the prostheses.
Poorly fabricated veneers and crowns with over-contouring, overhangs or defective margins with large gaps will make it difficult to clean and remove plague easily. It may lead to unhealthy gums and even surrounding bone loss in the long term.
In addition, if deep, heavy or unstable bite exists and is not corrected, veneers and crowns are prone to fractures and failures.
Veneers and crowns are also costly as it patients may require from 6 to 16 or more of these prostheses in a smile-makeover.
There are proper indications for veneers and crowns,
such as when the teeth are heavily restored or have severe and dark intrinsic stains. The bite must be good or corrected and any severe crowding or malalignment of teeth must be corrected before veneers and crowns are done.
Most experienced dentists or prosthodontists will be able to advise patients on the pros and cons of veneers and crowns.