Theriot Family Dental

Hesistant to Finish Full-Smile Makeover

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I have a serious grinding problem. I didn’t realize it until I went to see a new dentist. I knew my teeth were stubby but thought that had more to do with getting older. I’m now 42. She’s had me wearing a nightguard, which has helped, but the appearance was pretty bad. When I mentioned wanting to do something about the appearance, she suggested a full mouth reconstruction where we put crowns on some of the teeth that porcelain veneers and then veneers on the rest. We did .the bottom arch first and it looks good, but really it looks too good. I had a fun quirky smile before and now I’ve got a perfect one which to me will signal it is fake. Between that and how hard the procedure was on me emotionally, I’m considering not finishing.  I know this means that the top will be darker and shorter than the bottom, but I’m just not sure I want to go through all this trouble. I was considering just whitening the top teeth to sort of match the bottom, but my dentist feels I need to finish the full mouth reconstruction. Is there a good reason to finish?


Dear Mariella,

Woman Covering Mouth


I haven’t seen your bite so it would be hard for me to tell you that there is a good reason to finish, but I can make some assumptions and general observations. First, let’s talk about that quirkiness you miss having. If you communicate that to your dentist I feel confident that they can add some quirky into the top arch if you decide to go through with that. Most dentists and ceramists would jump at the opportunity to be creative instead of just having to make perfect smiles all the time. So, that part is an easy fix.

You also mentioned that you grind your teeth. In doing so, your upper arch is probably damaged and weakened. Finishing the reconstruction will help with that. It will also decrease any sensitivity you are feeling as a result of the grinding. I know doing such drastic work can be exhausting. It’s a little like moving into a new house. You get tired of all the packing and unpacking, but once it is set up you have a beautiful new home. I make no money in telling you this, so please know it is out of sincerity. I truly believe if you go ahead and finish, making sure you let your dentist know you want some mild imperfections added, you will be thrilled with the results and find a renewed confidence.

By the way, it sounds like your dentist was doing it the smart way in talking off as little structure as possible by doing porcelain veneers whenever possible instead of crowns. That’s a good sign.

If you decide not to go through with the smile makeover, you are going to at least want to whiten the top arch. You can do that quickly with Zoom Whitening, or gradually with take-home trays.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.