July 17, 2018

Q: Is this proper procedure to grind down parts of the crown & remove some tooth material to fit a crown?

When dry fitting a new gold crown it was too tight to the adjacent teeth & was sitting too high. After grinding the crown & my teeth didn’t fix the problem new impressions were taken, it was returned to the lab. I don’t know what to expect when I return this week (to my current dentist) for the second fitting. If there are any further issues I may have to consult another dentist to understand the subject. Should any grinding of teeth be required in order to fit a crown?

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
Ideally, no adjustments of your crown or teeth would be necessary.  However, there are many variables in making a crown that in some instances dictates that the dentist adjust either or both, the new crown and opposing teeth.
In some instances it is actually preferable to adjust the opposing teeth,  Specifically, some teeth have an extra long cusp, called a “plunger cusp” or a tooth that has “supra erupted”, making it longer than all the adjacent teeth.  So, in those cases it is often preferable for the dentist to adjust the opposing teeth more than the crown.
In general, little adjustments of either the crown or opposing teeth have little significance.
In my practice, if I feel it is in the patient’s best interest that I adjust the opposing teeth, I will tell the patient in advance and get their permission.  My patients almost always trust my judgment and follow my advice when I explain the reason why, in advance of the adjustments I’m recommending.
However, if you distrust your current dentist, and you have little faith or confidence in him/her, then maybe it’s time to find another dentist?

Norman Huefner, DDS
Laguna Niguel Cosmetic Dentist
www.drhuefner.com

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