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FAQ:  Porcelain Veneers

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  • Veneers on a Root Canal Tooth I just had a root canal done on one of my upper front teeth.

    I know that normally a crown would be placed over the tooth following a root canal. However, the tooth right next to the one with the was broken many years ago and I want to get veneers put on the front teeth.

    Can veneers be put on the tooth which had the root canal instead of a crown? I am concerned mostly for aesthetic reasons since these are my front teeth. ...Visitor from NY

    Yes, you can have veneers on front teeth after root canal therapy. The reason for the crowns after root canal is that the teeth will get brittle over time.

    Think of a plant that is not watered for a long time. The leaves get dry and when touched break and crumble. Similarly, the teeth are alive and when the nerve is removed the tooth will dry up and get brittle.

    This is of especial concern when dealing with the back teeth. In the back teeth (from the bicuspid to the molars) the force is placed over the top of the biting surface down along the towards the root. If a filling is placed in the middle of the tooth it will act as a wedge to push the sides of the tooth apart.

    A crown or an onlay is devised so that as the pressure of biting seats (pushes down on) the restoration, the tooth is pulled together. The front teeth have biting forces which are oblique to the long axis (the length of the tooth from tip to root) of the tooth.

    So a crown is not seated upon biting like they are in the back. If there is sufficient amount of tooth structure left on the tooth then the veneer will work very well, in fact it will allow for any internal bleaching (when the tooth is lightened from inside the pulp chamber ie: where the nerve was) due to the access still being available.

    If the tooth has lost too much tooth structure a porcelain crown can be placed that will restore it to the beauty that it once had.

    Editorial Staff

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