I wanted a beautiful smile… but all I got was this lousy lisp!

I was so excited for my recent smile makeover, which included porcelain veneers on my front teeth and a few crowns on my back teeth. I “test-drove” the temporaries and felt really good about how it was all going to look, so I gave my dentist the go-ahead to permanently bond everything. I quickly realized that the permanent ones didn’t feel the same. They are bulky and they make it difficult to talk because my tongue catches on them and it makes me have a lisp. I thought that porcelain veneers were supposed to feel like natural teeth, but these sure don’t. I went back to my dentist and he did adjust them some, but it hasn’t made a difference. I’ve called back several times and they just sound annoyed with me, but I’m not sure I can live with this – it’s been over three months. Can something be done? — Mike

Are you sure you have porcelain veneers? They bond only to the front of your existing teeth, so you should not be able to even feel them from the back with your tongue. From what you describe, it sounds like you have crowns. They fit completely over a prepared tooth, so you can most definitely feel those with your tongue.

Crowns can change the shape of your teeth, depending on how the dentist made them. That can most definitely affect how you sound out letters or certain words – especially if they are too thick or too long. When things feel just slightly different, most people can overcome and adjust over time (usually a few weeks or so). If you’re still having so much trouble after three months, there’s definitely something not right.

It sounds like you need to have this fix sooner, rather than later. Talk to your dentist one more time and see what you can figure out. He should want to do whatever he can to correct it, but if he is unwilling or continues to give you grief about it, find another dentist and get a second opinion and hopefully pin down the exact problem.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Alana Macalik. For more information on the services she provides, visit her Arlington cosmetic dentist website.