Hi Dr. Hall,
I’m having issues with 6 crowns placed on my front teeth.
Initial temporaries were horrible, felt there was a leakage – I expressed to my dentist that I was worried it was it infected. They took the temps off and he wanted a fluoride treatment done to the nubs, also prescribed an antibiotic, but never said I needed more done like a root canal. Finally got my crowns fitted and the bite was off, he had to do a lot of filing down to make it seem normal. They were ok at first but then too much fluid was going through the new teeth, so they sent the crowns back. Had to go back to temporaries that actually fit better this time. Anyways, new crowns come and I’m in week two of these crowns that are supposed to be permanent. Well I’m still having issues. Burning gums, teeth sensitivity, and now a hole in the back of one my front teeth. I’m supposed to go on Tuesday for these to be permanent but I just don’t think they’re still right. What do you think is causing this? Thank you for your help!!
– Becca from Alabama
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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While I can’t tell you for certain what is wrong with your crowns without an exam, I can definitely be helpful.
The first thing I want to emphasize is to tell you not to let them permanently cement these crowns until you feel perfectly comfortable. Make that clear to them. This is Friday. I would call them on Monday and tell them that.
The second thing I want to key in on is this that you mentioned “burning gums.” You need to get to the bottom of that. Are these porcelain fused to metal crowns? If so, this could mean that you are allergic to the metal in the crowns. If that is the case, I would insist that they tell you the exact composition of the metal, and if there is any nickel in it (Ni), to tell them they need to use a different material. They would have received an identalloy certificate from the laboratory telling them the exact composition of the metal alloy. If these are pure ceramic crowns, you still need to get to the bottom of why you have this burning feeling in your gums.
There are several things you told me about what your dentist has done that make me wonder if he is in over his head. Doing a nearly complete smile of crowns on the six front teeth is very different from doing one or two crowns—much more complicated, and I would recommend a dentist with some credentials in cosmetic dentistry for that. Your bite being way off is a hint of a red flag. Yes, the bite can be adjusted, but with quality dental care, most of the time there will be little adjustment required. Doing a fluoride treatment to your prepared teeth doesn’t make sense. If your temporaries were leaking, then you got bacteria up in under them. Fluoride isn’t an antibacterial—it helps remineralize early decay lesions. A peroxide rinse or daubing the teeth with chlorhexidine would be a more appropriate treatment, since these are two great oral antibacterials.
About this hole in the back of one of your teeth—I would need to see that. I’m also not sure what this “fluid was going through the new teeth” is. Not sure what you’re referring to there.
If I were you, I would have them temporarily cement the new crowns and then find another dentist for a second opinion. Tell them you want to be sure they are comfortable before you make them permanent. You can tell them I told you that, if you want. I have said this before—a new crown should feel so comfortable you forget it is there.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.
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