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crown issues?

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DownInTheGutters

Junior member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
10
Location
USA
Hello,

I've had my dental crown since 2019. It is on my #3 tooth. It has always been a little sensitive to extreme cold (like ice water if I swish it around) and I thought this was normal for a porcelain crown. After a little research I've totally freaked myself out, and I can't get into the dentist for another 2 months so I just had a few questions that will hopefully alleviate the crippling anxiety I have.

1. Is it normal to see a bit of the tooth underneath the crown at the gum line/crown margins? If so, is there a certain amount that should be visible, or should I call the dentist? Is this the cause of my sensitivity, and is it ok this way or should I consider it having to be replaced? Otherwise I have no pain when chewing, flossing, etc. no weird smells, bleeding, or any other obvious signs of infection.

2. For those who had decay under their crown, is a crown replacement possible after removing the decay? Is it the same process? i.e getting a temporary crown, a mold, etc.

3. If worst comes to worst, and I MUST have the tooth removed, I'm genuinely terrified of the bone less, of my face and jaw face shape significantly changing for the worse, and of having a huge gap because it's the biggest tooth in my mouth. Will I be able to eat properly with an important molar missing? I'm considering dental implants, but it seems they run around 5k-6k for molars, which is seriously disheartening, but I would do my best to save the money. :( I'm only 24, and it just makes me sad that I'm potentially going to lose a molar or two. I worry my quality of life will decline, that I'll no longer be attractive, and that I'll just be miserable and isolated until the end of my days if so. :(

Any advice, any stories, literally anything is appreciated. Thanks guys.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,736
Hi, not a dentist, but seeing how @Gordon is away this weekend, I'll give it a shot:

1. Is it normal to see a bit of the tooth underneath the crown at the gum line/crown margins? If so, is there a certain amount that should be visible, or should I call the dentist? Is this the cause of my sensitivity, and is it ok this way or should I consider it having to be replaced? Otherwise I have no pain when chewing, flossing, etc. no weird smells, bleeding, or any other obvious signs of infection.

Seeing how the crown is quite new, it's likely deliberate. I take it you're talking about a first molar (i.e. #3 in the American numbering system)? If so, yes, it's better to have a small amount of natural tooth visible as it’s kinder on the gums.

The only reason for having it at, or very slightly below, the gum is appearance (unless it needs to go deeper to get the crown margin onto sound tooth material). This is usually done if it's a front tooth so the crown won't be noticeable.

Have you tried rubbing sensitive toothpaste onto the affected area? You can find some info on what to do about sensitive teeth here:


With regards to questions 2. and 3., I think you're overthinking things :). I'd try the desensitising toothpaste first, and if that doesn't bring relief, either see if you can bring your dental appointment forward or email your dentist and ask!
 
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DownInTheGutters

Junior member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
10
Location
USA
@letsconnect
Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, it is my first molar, I'm just so worried my crown margins are loose/ill fitting all of a sudden, and that decay is creeping under there somehow, even though I haven't really noticed much of a change in anything. But again, thank you, because this was very helpful to me.

I truly hope it is ok, and that I won't need to have it removed any time soon! :cry:
 
G

geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
497
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
For the sensitivity, does the pain linger or does it go away when the ice cold water goes away? Extreme temperature sensitivity can be normal.
 
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DownInTheGutters

Junior member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
10
Location
USA
@geos
It goes away as soon as the water goes away, or if the water isn’t cold. Sometimes cold/cool air can do it a little as well if I’m focusing on it. :(
 
D

DownInTheGutters

Junior member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
10
Location
USA
Hi,

I’ve had my dental crown on one of my biggest molars for about 3 years. It works just fine. However, I’ve noticed slight sensitivity to cold water and air on the inside (closest to my tongue).

My dentist took a look and said it “looks like a bit of recession” but that it’s fine and to rub sensitive toothpaste on there if it’s uncomfortable for me. It’s not, really, unless I do something intentionally like swish ice cold water on that tooth. But everything I’ve read said if there is a gap between your gums and the crown that it should be replaced IMMEDIATELY due to the increased likelihood of plaque accumulating on the margin. Is this true, should I ask to replace my crown at my cleaning next month?

I’m so paranoid it’ll decay at the gum line and won’t be able to be saved and replaced. Please help!!!
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
7,805
But everything I’ve read said if there is a gap between your gums and the crown that it should be replaced IMMEDIATELY due to the increased likelihood of plaque accumulating on the margin. Is this true, should I ask to replace my crown at my cleaning next month?
No, that's completely incorrect.

If us dentists can get away with it, we'd much rather place the edge of a crown up above the gum line, that way it's easy to keep clean and it keeps the small amount of plaque that will build up in the margin between crown and tooth (no matter how good a crown fits, there will be a microscopic gap which bacteria can live in), so it's much healthier all round.

Generally we can't do that because patients would rather not see the margin between crown and tooth so we hide it below the gum line.


I’m so paranoid it’ll decay at the gum line and won’t be able to be saved and replaced. Please help!!!
Why would it do that if you're eating a sensible diet and cleaning it? And if you weren't then the new crown would also decay at the gum line...
 
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