I had two crowns done. One for a back tooth and one for a front tooth. I’ve had loads of trouble with them. I’ve gone back to my dentist twice to have the back one adjusted. It’s never felt quite right, but he insists it is and I’ll get used to it. Last night at dinner a piece chipped off of it. I went to an emergency dentist to try and get it fixed. He said I have some of the worst dental work he’s seen. He also said if I don’t replace my front crown it will turn my gum gray. Does that sound right? He also said the back crown has to be replaced. Is he right or is he just trying to get more money out of me?
I’ll need you to bear in mind that I haven’t examined you, nor do I know either of your dentists, but I think I may know what is going on. I don’t think the emergency dentist is trying to just get more money out of you. In fact, I think he’s trying to save you some heartache.
Let’s talk about the broken crown first. You’ve been having trouble with that crown. I know you’re dentist said you’d “get used to it”, but that is unskilled dentist speak for “I’m tired of trying to fix this”. There are generally two reasons for pain with a crown.
The first is when there’s still a lingering infection. The emergency dentist you went to should have done x-rays. If so, he’d have told you if there was an infection present. That would have required a root canal treatment and then replacement of your dental crown.
The second reason is when the crown is seated too high. That causes pain when you bite down because your opposing teeth are hitting the crown before anything else. My suspicion is that’s also why your crown broke. There wasn’t a way to share the biting force, so it all went to your crown, chipping off a piece.
It’s very likely the crown is broken in a way that it can’t be repaired, but must be replaced. I wouldn’t trust your regular dentist to do this. If you liked the emergency dentist, you can use him to replace your dental crown. If you’re not crazy about either dentist, you can look for a new one.
The Graying of Your Gums
When the emergency dentist referred to the crown turning your gums gray. I’m assuming he means that you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. I’m surprised your dentist placed one of those on your front teeth. That used to be common, but now dentists who understand the importance of natural, beautiful looking teeth will only place all-porcelain crowns on front teeth.
Look at the picture I posted directly above. These images are of the exact same woman. The left side has porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. The right side is an image of those crowns replaced with all-porcelain crowns. Which smile would you want?
Look closely at the left image. In addition to the crowns being too opaque in order to cover the metal base, do you see that gray line at the gumline? That’s likely what your emergency dentist was referring to. That gray line will eventually turn up at your gumline if you have metal-based crowns. There is no way to make that look natural. You’ll want to replace that with a metal-free crown.
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