Crown Replacement Needed?


Joined
Oct 28, 2015
Messages
2
Hello there, I have just joined this forum to ask a question which is concerning me at the moment, I hope someone may offer some advice or shared experience, I would be most grateful.

I am based in the UK, male aged 48, and at my last check up a few days ago my dentist said my eye tooth crown was needing replaced because it had developed a 'gap'. He asked me how long I had had this crown and I told him approx 15 years. My previous, now retired, dentist who installed it, was excellent and made a fantastic job. He put in this crown after doing a root canal on the tooth.

I have never had one single problem or issue with this crown, it has been indistinguishable from a real 100% healthy tooth. On looking at it closely with a dentist mirror I see nothing wrong with it at all. In general my dental health is good, and I have hardly had any fillings since childhood. My dentist calls me in every 6 months for a checkup, usually with no work needing done.

I am very concerned about this crown replacement. I believe 'if it ain't broke then don't fix it'. And there is a risk something may not work out so well - the new crown may not fit so well or bond so well. And I am concerned, though I respect my new dentist, whom I have had for over 5 years now, that he may be needing some extra income and the treatment is strictly speaking unnecessary. Also if it went wrong I could not afford an implant, which costs £1000's.

He is though a very good dentist, and I would like to keep on good terms with him. I have dutifully turned up to appts every 6 month at his request. I have had disastrous dentists in the past whom I would never return to again.

I just wonder what people think about this situation. I am VERY nervous about any dental problems arising. And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the tooth from my perspective. So why should I be burdened with this ?

But I want to keep on this dentist's patient list as I may need a good dentist one day in the future, and a good dentist can be hard to find.

But I simply don't want this treatment, it is totally stressing me out. But will my dentist be offended, if I make an excuse or keep putting it off ? Will he dismiss me as a patient because of that ? Is it feasible to get a second opinion on this crown ?

Some people online have reported having tooth crowns for over 30 years without any trouble - and they can actually last a lifetime.

So that's it - any comments welcome!
 
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Zuri Barniv

Verified Dentist
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
220
A few things: First off, you as a patient cannot determine if a crown is OK or not based on looking at it in the mirror or by feeling "nothing wrong". Most all dental problems cannot be seen or felt until they are much more advanced and difficult to fix. Second, you contradict yourself when you say you respect and like the dentist but you think he is recommending work purely for profit. If you think the latter, then in fact, you don't trust the dentist and you should get a second opinion. Lastly, there is risk to every procedure and even ones that are intended to correct a problem. It might end up badly if you try to fix it or end up worse if you don't. This is why you and the dentist need to have a candid conversation about the risks of treatment, the alternative options and the benefits he hopes to realize. A dentist should not dismiss you from his practice for opting out of a treatment like this, but why don't you hear him out and see what comes out of it? There is nothing wrong with telling the dentist about your concerns and hesitations and then giving him an opportunity to elaborate on his recommendation.
 

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Joined
Oct 28, 2015
Messages
2
Ok, thank you sir. The part that troubles me is when he asked how long I had had the crown and I replied over 10 years - and then he said that was a good period of time for a crown to last. I was just not happy with this, given crowns can last 30+ years, and even a lifetime as one dentist said on his website. In fact I just spoke to my brother about this and he said he has had his crown now for almost 30 years and has had no problems at all. The obsolescence argument just doesn't impress me too much. I would not wholly blame the individual dentist for over-treating if they are under some kind of financial pressure - it is the 'system' that is to blame.

Also he has given me two X-rays in last 6 months, and after the second a few days ago I have a sore neck under the area where it was directed, and I am concerned about the health risks of X-rays.
 

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Zuri Barniv

Verified Dentist
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
220
You cannot compare your brother's experience to your own, you are two separate people with two separate circumstances. You either trust what the dentist is telling you or you don't. It sounds like you have serious doubts. Does the UK system allow for second opinions? Also, the x-rays could not cause you physical symptoms you could feel over a 6 month period. You should be concerned about the health risks of x-rays, but dental x-rays have extremely low dosages when compared to medical x-rays like chest, abdominal, etc.
 

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