I had porcelain veneers done across my front teeth and crowns done on a couple of my back teeth about three months ago. The temporaries felt fine and I didn’t have any issue with them at all, but as soon as the permanent porcelain veneers went on, they felt really bulky. My tongue seems to catch on them every time I talk and I sound like I have a lisp. It just feels so unnatural when I talk and my arch feels out of whack, too. It’s almost like it’s too small and my tongue wants to push outward all the time. I went back to my dentist a couple of different times and he made some adjustments, but the problem persists. The office seems to be getting frustrated with me at this point and I hate to keep calling them, but it’s really bothersome. Is this something I’m going to have to live with or is there a simple way to fix it?
Markus in Illinois
It actually doesn’t sound like you have porcelain veneers. Those should only hug the front of your teeth, in which case your tongue wouldn’t really touch them and they wouldn’t affect your speech. It sounds more like you have crowns, which wrap around all the surfaces of a tooth. If this is the case, your tongue would come into contact with them.
The shape of your teeth absolutely does affect your speech. If the dentist made them too thick or too long, it would change the way certain letters and sounds come out. It’s common for people to adjust to the different sensation over the course of a few weeks or a couple of months, but if you’ve had yours for three months and they’re still not right, something else is going on.
Equally, the fact that your arch feels “out of whack” is concerning as well. If you’re not biting properly, this needs to be addressed or it will eventually start to upset your jaw. TMJ problems can be painful by themselves, but they also manifest as headaches and migraines, too.
This needs to be corrected and, at this point, probably requires that you have the work redone. Talk to the dentist one more time and see how he feels about it. Ultimately, it is his responsibility to correct it, but if he is unwilling or gives you a hard time about it, it’s a good idea to have a consultation with another dentist or a TMJ specialist to pinpoint exactly what the problem is.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS