Dental Questin

Pamelad1January 22, 2004

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for dental questions or not, but I was wondering if anyone here has crowns or "caps" on their teeth. My dentist wants to put crowns on my front teeth due to the large fillings that I currently have in them. I am having second thoughts (truthfully I am not completely comfortable with this dentist, but he is one of the only ones in the area who takes my insurance), plus I am not sure how comfortable and real feeling the caps will be. My best friend has had hers done and said that they are thicker than her natural teeth and that they did take some getting used to. Any stories to share?

Thanks in advance.


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I have at least 16 crowns and one 3 teeth bridge. Most of my teeth on the top and bottom are crowns, some of them I have had since the early 1960s. They feel like my natural teeth to me. I have had 4 crowns replaced, one because I kept breaking it because of clenching my teeth while sleeping. I got my first crowns because of large fillings in my teeth, like yours. The only thing that might feel strange at first is that when the crown is cemented in it will feel "funny" at frist, like it is slightly too big for the space, but that feeling quickly goes away, within a very few minutes, and from then on, they feel like regular teeth but one does have to be a little careful not to bite down on very hard things and they do sometimes come loose but rarely. I just recently had three crowns and a bridge replaced due to decay underneath the crowns. I would highly recommend them but be sure you are comfortable with your dentist and that he knows what he is doing. Good luck. Judith

    Bookmark   January 22, 2004 at 11:37AM
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I have front crowns and some lower bridges, most of them I'm very satisfied with. But, my front ones have always been a problem with redness around the gumline. Another dentist checked the margins on the crowns and said they weren't prepared correctly. The last time I went for a cleaning, the hygenist said there are some people who are allergic to the metals. Maybe I'm one of these people since I am allergic to some of the metals in watches----they break my arm out. So, I don't know---but they feel like my natural teeth----no problem with that.

If you're not ready for crowns, there's composite fillings that can be done ----or, actually, it's a facing. This is very popular right now. Ask your dentist about it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2004 at 3:52PM
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I have quite a few crowns, usually due to root canal. I think they're well worth it. And when you have big fillings, the tooth can fall apart and you won't be able to save it. The only options then are implants or bridges, both of which are more expensive.

The crowns are a bit thicker than your own teeth, but after a little while (usually a few hours) you don't notice it.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2004 at 1:02AM
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I have quite a few, but only one on one of the flat, front teeth. It is a bit wider than the real one was but not so bad that it causes me discomfort.

The fillings were old, I had decay under the fillings to the point that you couldn't just 'refill' them. A few others had to have root canals due to the damage that decay under ancient fillings had caused.

You should find, when they are done with the work, that you are far less sensitive to hot / cold foods, and they last longer than those old fillings will.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2004 at 8:26AM
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When I was only 22 my dentist told me that if I wanted to "save" my top front teeth I should have them capped. In retrospect (that was a lot of years ago), it was a stupid move. First of all, I had no fillings in those teeth, and secondly, he didn't tell me that gum disease often shows up around crowned teeth (front ones in particular, apparently). My crowns had to be replaced about 15 years later, and they were too white. I looked like I had Chicklets in my mouth. The gum disease developed, too.

I have numerous crowns elsewhere in my mouth, done by another, more meticulous dentist, and haven't had a problem with them. But they were necessary, the result of root canals.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2004 at 2:18PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I am concerned that you don't trust your dentist. Why don't you get some other opinions, then think about the insurance thing? My insurance allows me to go out of our system and pay a little more. Possibly you would want to save some money and find a dentist you really trust? We dropped our vision insurance because we didn't like the doctors. Our dental insurance pays just about what we pay monthly. It doesn't pay much for the crowns or other high tech work. If you don't think that doctor is good, you need to resolve your feelings - either find someone else, or find some people who can help you gain confidence in the doctor. Once he files those teeth down to put on the crown, you cannot go back.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2004 at 11:43AM
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I just ran across this old thread, so perhaps it is too late now. Just in case, here are some comments:

When there simply "is no other alternative" to restoring a badly decayed or broken down tooth, then crowns are a good way to go. However, they should only be done as a last resort.

1) Preparing a tooth for a crown involves drilling it down to a tiny peg. All the enamel is removed and some of the dentin as well. This can be traumatic for the pulp chamber and as a result, having a tooth crowned does increase the chance that you will need a root canal in the future. It is also completely irreversible. Once done, there is no going back.

2) There is also increased risk of periodontal disease around crowns, since the margins are more difficult to keep clean. Also, in some folks, their gum tissue is just not that compatible with the porcelain or gold, which can cause gingivitis that is difficult to resolve.

3) When initially placed, the crown goes below the gumline to protect the underlying tooth structure from future decay. However, your gums recede over your lifetime which means that after a few years, you will see a gap between where the crown stops and your tooth begins. This is especially noticable in anterior teeth, which is the case here.

4) We now have many improved composite filling materials (white) available and these are placed using bonding and light curing techniques. As a result, they are much stronger than in the past and if it were me, this is where I would start. This type of restoration requires a dentist that is highly skilled and patient. They also do not make as much $$ as they would for doing a crown. (This is not necessarily to imply that your dentist's motivation is financial. It may or it may not be).

I have several large restorations in my upper anterior teeth as well. I can also get just about anything done that I want to for free (other than the lab bill), but there is NO way that I will ever have these teeth crowned.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2004 at 4:30PM
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Lynne, interesting point about the gap showing as you get older...I have three crowns (never had a problem with any & two are over 15 years old.) But I am noticing the little gap by the gumline by one of them now, I don't like it because it shows when I smile.

I'm in the process of getting dental implants (7 molars pulled years ago, I was a victim of British dentistry growing up.) I had fixed bridges done on one side, but had to do implants on the other. I just had the bone grafting done 3 weeks ago & won't get the actual teeth until December.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2004 at 12:07AM
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Have you made inquiries of other dentists to find out who will accept your insurance? I was going to a dentist in our local town who started his own practice. I switched my records over to him which was a mistake. When I went to his office, he doesn't have all the modern equipment and the dental assistant doing the x-rays told me how bad it was going to hurt and I just laughed. X-rays normally don't hurt me, a little uncomfortable sometimes, but they don't HURT. This was my first experience with having x-rays that hurt, so I am switching to my husband's reconstructive/restoration doctor.

According to my recently "canned" dentist, I need four crowns. Two of them are on back teeth that are broken off. I can only get two of the crowns done this year, because my dental coverage is only $1,000 per year, so next spring I will get the other two crowns done. I am seriously thinking about just having one or these teeth pulled that has a large cavity in it at the very back top right.

Carina, did your insurance pay for any of your dental implants? My husband's insurance doesn't cover dental implants (see the post under MDI implants) and he needed them. He has dentures and he gags all the time. Does this gagging ever go away? It's the first thing I hear every morning when he puts his teeth in. I feel so sorry for him.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2004 at 12:04PM
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Implants are still excluded from most dental insurance plans because at one time they were considered experimental and the success rates were not that great. Now, we are advising our clients (large corporations that want to provide EEs with dental benefits) to add them to their dental plans, if they can afford the increase in premium. They are no longer considrered experimental, have very high success rates, and for some individuals, are the only viable solution to their problem.

In most cases we do recommend that the benefit be limited to a separate lifetime maximum, to limit the total financial liability of the plan.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2004 at 1:53AM
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I want to say that I am so thankful for this post. I am changing dentists next week to my husband's restorative dentist. I am going to ask him about the composite fillings which I have never heard of, but we are living on one income and need to save money wherever we can.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 11:51PM
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This post is for the people who suffering from gum disseases.this site will help them a lot.That's why actually i'm posting it here.don't miss the chance.good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: gum problems

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:51AM
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