Can I get a porcelain veneer placed on a front tooth crown?

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I had a crown placed on one of my front teeth. It has been at least 10 years and I think the crown is starting to look a bit dingy. I am considering getting porcelain veneers to spruce up my entire smile. When I first mentioned this to my dentist, he is telling me the entire crown needs to be replaced. But I was wondering if a porcelain veneer can be placed over the crown. I think the crown is still completely functional, just looking old. It doesn’t seem to me that the whole crown should have to be replaced. But then again, I’m not a cosmetic dentist. Will a porcelain veneer work in this situation?

– Karen in Arizona


These are some great questions. One thing you need to be aware of is that even the best-made porcelain crown will not last forever. In some cases, they can last 20 years or more, but the lifespan can be much less than that. Many insurance companies will contribute to a crown replacement as early as five years. In some instances, the gum will recede over time and food or bacteria can get underneath it. This situation will likely result in decay. So even though it sounds like the aesthetics of the crown is your main concern, you may want to consider having the crown replaced for functionality. There is a chance that the “dingy” look of your crown may be removed with a deep cleaning. But, if not now, then soon you may need to have it replaced.

Your question about a porcelain veneer being placed over the crown is an interesting concept. Unfortunately, this plan is not ideal. Even no-preparation veneers (like the popular Lumineers brand or other ultra-thing veneers) won’t work well in this situation. It would be too bulky over a crown and there may be serious functional issues in that it likely will not stay in place.

Sorry to deliver bad news. But you may end up needing the porcelain crown replaced. If you see an excellent cosmetic dentist, a new crown will blend in perfectly with porcelain veneers on the surrounding teeth. Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.