I was so excited to get my porcelain veneers to make my smile look better. I ended up with 10 porcelain veneers and a crown on each side. I was really happy with the way the temporary veneers looked and felt. But, when the permanent teeth were cemented in place, I noticed that I am having trouble talking. I feel like my tongue cannot relax and it’s very uncomfortable. The best way I can explain it is that my tongue now feels too big and doesn’t fit properly inside my teeth. It feels like it’s resting on the back of my bottom teeth.
Do you know why this is happening? When I explained the problem with my tongue to my dentist and how I’m talking funny, he couldn’t seem to figure it out. Does it have something to do with the crowns in the back? Or maybe the front teeth are now too big which is making my tongue sit lower?
Any insight you may have would be greatly appreciated!
-Shannon on Florida
First, you need to understand that it is difficult to give you specific recommendations without having seen you face to face. That said, I can give you some information based on the information you’ve shared in your question.
A smile makeover should not be affecting your speech or the way your tongue is positioned. Also, it is worth mentioning that speech issues are more common in a full smile makeover with porcelain crowns. So, it is possible your terminology isn’t accurate and that you may have porcelain crowns instead of veneers. A crown covers the entire tooth, whereas a porcelain veneer is adhered to the front surface of a tooth to improve the aesthetic look of a tooth. A crown is more invasive and is usually done when the health of the tooth is compromised, with a crack or decay and it needs more protection.
However, if you do have porcelain veneers, you really shouldn’t feel any difference with your tongue since they sit on the front of the tooth. This means that the backside of your teeth have remained untouched.
Many patients mix up porcelain veneers and crowns. If you did indeed get crowns and a full mouth reconstruction, the possibility exists that it may affect your speech. An excellent cosmetic dentist is trained in how to carefully align the contours of the crowns in your mouth and will consider exactly how they may affect your speech. The inside of the crowns or what we refer to as the lingual surfaces, needs to be carefully evaluated because the end result may alter how your pronounce certain letters. Also, the incisor edges and the length on front teeth may also affect how you talk.
An expert cosmetic dentist is trained and experienced in addressing and treating concerns like this. They will take precise measurements and evaluate how the restorations need to be positioned to minimize any issues with your speech. It’s interesting that you seemed happy with the temporaries. These measurements should have been implemented in your final smile design before anything was placed permanently.
Unfortunately, it sounds like something has gone wrong here. Typically, an impression is taken of the temporary smile makeover and that is the model that is used at the laboratory. Then the ceramist will use that same model to create the final restorations. It sounds like there was an error in the process between the temporary restorations and the final restorations. It is possible that the dentist only sent an image and not the full model or that it is quite possible that the dentist did everything right, but the ceramist didn’t follow the exact specifications.
All that to be said, most times a patient will be able to adjust to the new positions of their teeth with a smile makeover. After awhile, you should find yourself speaking normally again. If you are still having speech problems after a couple months or more, then it needs to be fixed. Even if that means that the case needs to be redone completely or even if you have to be referred to a new dentist. You deserve to have this done correctly and shouldn’t compromise on such extensive work.
Thank you for sharing your story. We hope things continue to improve for you.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS