I had 5 old silver fillings that my dentist convinced me to replace, even though the fillings were stable. The plan was to replace 3 of the fillings with composite and replace the 2 larger ones with zirconia crowns. I got the crowns in late October and have not been happy with them from day one. They were pressing on my gums from the very beginning and making my bite feel off. It was only two weeks before the discomfort became painful. It still hurts when I chew on the crowns, so I’m trying hard to avoid getting food anywhere near them. This has been very stressful. I work nights and have trouble sleeping during the day due to stress over the discomfort in my mouth.
My dentist knows about the issue. I’ve been to her office once, and she checked my bite. She said my bite is fine, and the crowns look good. She refused my request for a refund. I’ve canceled my appointments to have the remaining fillings replaced with composite. I’m not giving her any more money.
I now have a new dentist who says my tooth nerves are irritated and need time to calm down and heal. He wants to avoid root canal treatment on my teeth, so I must wait for 2 to 3 months. I’ve been searching online when I have time, but I don’t see anything to confirm what he told me. But maybe the issue is not common enough for me to find online articles. Do I really need to wait months for replacement crowns? If I ignore my dentist and move on to a third dentist for faster treatment, will replacing my crowns be extremely painful since my tooth nerves are irritated? Thank you. – Darla
Unfortunately, it sounds like you’ve found two dentists that lack expertise and a firm understanding of dentistry.
Dental crowns that irritate your gums and disturb your bite are unrelated to your tooth nerves. If the nerves were irritated, your crowned teeth would have significant sensitivity to cold.
Dental Crown Replacement – What to Expect
Based on your description, we see no reason to delay replacing your crowns. Although you don’t have to wait before a dentist replaces your crowns, it isn’t wise to insist that your current dentist replaces them. Your dentist’s hesitancy is likely a sign that he is uncomfortable with the work. Zirconia crowns are very tough and challenging to grind off, especially if your previous dentist bonded them to your teeth.
What can you expect when you receive crowns?
- Preparation for new crowns – When a dentist must cut deeply into a tooth in preparation for a crown, the tooth nerve can be irritated—and highly irritated in some cases.
- Replacing established crowns – You’ve had your crowns since late October. That’s enough time for tooth nerves to settle down—if they were irritated at all. When a dentist replaces your crowns, if you feel any irritation in your teeth, it will be mild.
- Calming your nervousness – If you’re anxious about dental appointments, your new dentist can provide sedation to help you relax throughout the procedure.
Look for an advanced cosmetic dentist to do the work. If you’re within driving distance of our office, Dr. Finley will be happy to replace the crowns. He has experience in providing new—and replacing old—zirconia crowns. Otherwise, look for a nearby accredited cosmetic dentist.
Dr. David Finley sponsors this post. He is a Monroe, LA, dentist with advanced training in aesthetics.