A prospective patient came into my East Setauket dental office recently to ask about porcelain veneers. She was unhappy with how her front teeth looked. She had old composite bonding that was stained and chipped. Her teeth had spread out, there were spaces in between the teeth, and she noticed that her teeth were loose. She thought that her problem was just cosmetic, and she was concerned that her insurance company would not cover elective cosmetic procedures.
I took some close up digital photographs of her smile, as I usually do for consultations. We then discussed her photographs which I had enlarged on the computer screen. She could see the condition of her back teeth and the condition of her gums, and she began to realize that she had other problems that contributed to her unattractive smile. We took xrays to confirm that she had decay and defective fillings in her back teeth and she had the bone loss associated with gum disease.
My point is that what may appear to be solely cosmetic is often a symptom of underlying dental disease. Her needed dental work was not only cosmetic, and she was able to collect her insurance benefits. She completed the treatment, is now in good dental health and has a beautiful smile!