I needed two different crowns placed. One was on a front tooth. The other is a back tooth. The one in the back hurts whenever I bite down. It’s almost as if it doesn’t match up with the tooth across from it. I think it needs to be hollowed out a little or something. My dentist insists this is normal and I will get used to it. The other thing which bothers me is the front tooth. It doesn’t match the other front tooth. It’s sort of close but not close enough. I’m uncomfortable smiling. Again, though, my dentist thinks it’s fine. What do I do?
Allow me to translate something for you. When a dentist says, “You’ll get used to it,” they generally mean “I have no idea how to fix this.” Generally, they’re hoping you’ll just stop complaining. While is it possible you will get used to it and adjust, it’s likely you will develop some form of TMJ Disorder in the process. It sounds to me as if your dentist has not studied occlusion. This is the science of how your teeth need to come together properly. It usually requires a dentist to take courses in a good post-doctoral center that teaches those topics.
Some good great institutions which teach this are:
- The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies
- The Pankey Institute
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
- The Dawson Academy
You will need to see a dentist who has this type of training to make sure your crown occludes correctly. The front tooth is a totally separate issue.
Matching a Crown to a Front Tooth
It takes an exceptionally gifted cosmetic dentist to match a porcelain crown to a front tooth. Most average cosmetic dentists will suggest you crown both teeth or just try to get a single crown close to the other tooth. This seems to be what has happened to you. The top cosmetic dentists are accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
I’m going to recommend you see an AACD accredited dentist. One of the benefits they have, in addition to matching your crown and creating gorgeous smile makeovers with porcelain veneers is that they have usually invested time in studying other aspects of their field as well. You will likely be able to find one who’s studied occlusion and they could help with both of your crown issues at the same time.
This blog is brought to you by La Jolla Dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.