My porcelain veneers are messing up my speech.

 / My porcelain veneers are messing up my speech.

My porcelain veneers are messing up my speech.

I had a pretty significant smile makeover, which included 10 porcelain veneers. I also had two crowns done at the same time. After the permanent veneers were placed, I noticed that I am having some difficulty speaking. My tongue isn’t happy. It just doesn’t feel comfortable. The best way to describe it is that it feels like my tongue is too big and it kind of lays on the back of the bottom of my front teeth. Does that make sense? When I went in, my dentist seemed stumped. He can’t figure it out. Does it have something to do with the crowns on the back molars? Please tell me you have some advice. I feel silly!

-Jana in Florida


Sorry to hear that you are having some issues with your porcelain veneers. Unfortunately, it is always difficult to give specific recommendations without having seen your case in person. That said, here is some information regarding smile makeovers and speech patterns that you may find helpful.

When porcelain veneers are placed properly, they shouldn’t be affecting your tongue or your speech. Porcelain veneers are tiny shells of porcelain veneers that are placed on the front surfaces of your teeth. So, the correct placement of porcelain veneers shouldn’t bother your tongue. The crowns you mentioned cover the entire tooth and not just the surface. So, if your smile makeover consisted of all crowns, there is a possibility that your speech could be impacted. But, you mentioned that you only had two crowns done. That said, this may be the culprit or a combination of them both.

Another thing that you may not realize  is that any dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist without any additional cosmetic dentistry training. This means the dentist may not actually have the ability or advanced training and experience to deliver results. The thickness of the inside surface of the crowns may alter the pronunciation of certain letter sounds. An excellent cosmetic dentist will be trained in how to place crowns in a way that they will not agitate or affect the tongue.

The length of the front teeth and back teeth may also affect certain letter pronunciation. So, the main question to figure out is which of these precise measurements is affecting your tongue and speech patterns. Most expert cosmetic dentists will test the placement of the provisional veneers or porcelain crowns prior to placing them permanently. Then, they can be adjusted at that stage before they are permanently bonded into place.

As you very well know, there is something wrong here and it sounds like it occurred during the placement of permanent restorations. It is possible your dentist didn’t actually send the impressions into the dental laboratory. Usually that is the best course of action. But it is possible your dentist chose to use photographs instead of the impressions. Or it is of course possible that the ceramist has messed up or misunderstood the specifications.

Sometimes it takes awhile to adjust to a smile makeover. But if you are still having problems after a couple months, you should adamantly request that they be corrected or even redone. It is possible that you may be better served by another cosmetic dentist. Your original dentist should make every effort to make this right. But, if you are met with resistance for whatever reason, it may be in your best interest to see a new cosmetic dentist. Sometimes, the new cosmetic dentist will be able to attest to the issues you’re having and help you pursue getting a refund at some level. Good luck and thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully, it helps others realize that not every dentist can do beautiful, functional cosmetic dentistry.


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