July 17, 2018

Q: Can crowns on your front four teeth be shortened just a bit without taking the glaze off the fronts of them?

I’ve have my front four teeth crowned recently & they are just a bit too long. I’m really worried about getting them shortened because I don’t want to mes them up. They are already cemented in. I have already had them redone once. I’m happy with everything about them but the length. My dentist told me to wear a few days & if I still wanted yo take a bit off…he could. It just scares me because I don’t want to mess them up cause I can’t afford to have them cut off & redone again. Thank you

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
Generally porcelain crowns or veneers on front teeth can be shortened slightly without a problem.  They can also be polished to a glaze like finish by your dentist.  Cosmetic dentists do this all the time.
However, how much will depend on how much of the underlying tooth has been shaped, how much you want off, whether it is an all-porcelain crown or a porcelain fused to metal crown.
An important question is did your dentist show your crowns to you before cementing them on? Did he get your acceptance and “permission to permanently cement them”?  This is common practice with cosmetic dentists, and if that was not done you have grounds to ask him to redo them without charging you again.  If he did, and you accepted them, then whether or not he should redo them at full fee will depend on the dentist and your relationship with him.  However, I would recommend that he try to reshape the porcelain to see if that satisfies you before resorting to redoing the crowns.

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