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Dentist Wants to Use Crowns to Whiten My Teeth

Red-haired woman portraying concern of a dentist using crowns to whiten her teethFrom the first premolar to the first premolar on both sides of my mouth, I have 3 crowns and 4 veneers. The crowns and veneers are more than 15 years old and are discoloring. Since the summer of 2020, I’ve been having issues with dry mouth. I want my dentist to replace the crowns and veneers, but he suggests crowns on all my upper and lower teeth for dry mouth and whither teeth. My dentist surprised me with the recommendation, so I asked for time to think about it. It really sounds like over-treatment to me. What is your opinion? – Thank you. Felicia from Philadelphia


Thank you for your question.

Your dentist’s recommendation to replace veneers with crowns and crown all your teeth to make them white is super-aggressive. Please do not agree to overtreatment.

Whitening Your Teeth

If you want your teeth whiter, bleaching them is the best option. But grinding down your teeth for crowns destroys healthy tooth structure. Unless bleaching gel does not whiten your teeth due to issues like fluorosis stains or severe tetracycline stains, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers.

Also, placing crowns on all your teeth is full-mouth reconstruction, a procedure that requires advanced skill to prevent issues with your bite, TMJ, and speech issues.

Replacing Porcelain Veneers with Crowns

An ethical dentist’s goal is to preserve your healthy tooth structure—not replace your crowns with veneers. Usually, a dentist who wants to replace porcelain veneers with crowns is uncomfortable with veneers. If you already have a dry mouth, full-mouth reconstruction can open your bit too far and make it worse.

We recommend looking for an advanced cosmetic dentist to examine and x-ray your teeth. The dentist will identify the cause of your dry mouth, whiten your teeth, and match your new crowns and veneers to your whiter teeth.


Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma dentist, sponsors this post.