I recently got a porcelain crown on my upper back tooth, but it feels out of alignment with the teeth below it. If my dentist shaves the crown down, will it damage my tooth? I want my dentist to do something about it, but he keeps telling me to wait so my mouth gets used to it. However, it’s been a few weeks and it’s not getting any better.
Takao, from Alice Springs, Australia
Your dentist’s reluctance to fix the crown sounds like inexperience. Unless your case is rather difficult, your dentist should know how to make the crown fit better, and make your discomfort go away.
A new crown should not be noticeable when biting or chewing. It should fit perfectly in your jawline, and feel like a natural tooth. Over time, you will get used to the crown, and it may not cause any further problems. However, the science behind jaw alignment is a difficult art, and having a crown out of place for so long can cause problems down the line, such as bone loss, stress on surrounding teeth, or even TMJ disorder.
To prevent TMJ or other issues, I would get your crown adjusted. This is not a difficult task, and if your dentist knows what is wrong, he or she can easily fix it. Shaving down the crown is not going to damage your tooth. If your dentist doesn’t know what is wrong, you should go see a different one; however, this may incur additional fees.
One way for your dentist to adjust your crown would be to have you bite down on a bite registration paper. If your teeth hit high on the paper, then your dentist will know where to grind down the crown. You can go to your dentist for this adjustment, but if you need another crown later on, I would suggest you go see a different dentist.
For a dentist to have skill in fixing your bite, you will need to see a dentist that has skill in full mouth restoration and post-graduate education in occlusion and TMJ.
This blog post is brought to you by Colorado Springs TMJ dentist, Dr. Joseph Rota. Please note that TMJ is not a specialty recognized by the ADA, but dentists like Dr. Rota have over 30 years of experience treating TMJ patients and their pain.