Re-doing All Crowns to Match ONE?

I have 17-year-old crowns on my front arch. There are six of them One of them developed decay which caused it to come loose. I knew that meant a filling and a new crown, but didn’t know that meant I’d have to replace EVERY crown. Why can’t he just match the one crown instead of re-doing all of them? Do I need a cosmetic dentist or is this standard procedure?


Dear Brooke,

porcelain crown being placed on a tooth

It sounds like your dentist doesn’t have a lot of experience with cosmetic dentistry. If he was a skilled cosmetic dentist, he’d be able to match a single crown to the rest of them. He’s not able to and I wouldn’t push him. The results would not be what you’re hoping for.

Instead, you’ll need to see a dentist who’s invested time in training as a cosmetic dentist. It’s hard to know who is skilled and who isn’t. Plus, who has the time to search through dozens of dentists credentials and artistic results? Not most people.

Finding a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist

In your case, I’d look on the website. They screen cosmetic dentists who ask to be listed. They can’t just purchase their way onto the site.

In order for a cosmetic dentist to get a listing, they have to show their technical knowledge and skill, as well as provide photographic evidence of cases they’ve done showing they also have artistry in their work and can create beautiful smiles.

Replace One or All?

All that being said, your crowns are seventeen years old. They’re going to start failing you. At least you know the dentist who placed them did a good job because they’ve had a great lifespan. In this situation you have two choices:

  • Replace all the crowns at once to save multiple trips to the dentist.
  • Replace them one at a time, as needed, to save paying a large amount of money at once.

Whichever decision you choose, I’d still make sure you did it with an artistic cosmetic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.