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I don’t know what to do anymore - need advice



Junior member
Jul 29, 2020
United States
I need advice from dentists, on how to talk to my dentist. How do I help him understand, without offending him, without hurting his feelings, how frustrated I am? How do I navigate this situation in a way that is respectful to him but still advocating for myself?

A few years ago he re-crowned a tooth for me. I left the office very happy with the process, but noticed that my bite felt funny at times. Being very new to all of this, I didn’t understand that it was the bite, assumed that was just how crowns felt, and it wasn’t enough to bother me, so I went on with my life. But my tooth was sensitive to cold. Again, me being so naive to this entire thing, I just thought it was the healing process, or that that was what I had to deal with when having a crown. About 5-6 months later, for my cleaning, I report the issues regarding the bite feeling off at times and the cold sensitivity. He works on my bite.

I leave the office, and go on with my life, and notice the bite still isn’t where it should be, although it’s better. Cold sensitivity is still there but not as bad. Bite issues are still not as bad.

This goes on about 3-4+ more times. He works on the bite, I leave the office thinking it’s fixed, then realize at some point, nope, not fixed. Each time it’s improved, but not fixed. And I don’t realize until I leave. sometimes not even days later.

In that time, over the course of the following 6 months (now a year or so from the re-crowning) the tooth dies. I need a root canal.

Finally, at this point, the bite is 100% fixed. But he wants to put on a new crown for the root canal, which makes sense to me, but I’m worried, because we had just gotten the bite fixed.

Just as expected, I’m 3 months into this new crown, post root canal, and I’ve gone back about 4-5 times to fix the bite. I’m at my wits end. This one is much more noticeable and uncomfortable than the other one. The discomfort is causing me all types of issues I didn’t have with the last one, such as I keep catching myself grinding my teeth. I have no idea why that’s my mouth’s response to this discomfort, but it is.

Even though he’s only making little changes to the back of the crown, each time he does anything, it takes me a while to adjust to it again because it feels so foreign and strange. I can usually tell in an hour that my bite, while improved, isn’t completely fixed. By that point, my appointment is long over and I’m stuck feeling like I have to make yet another appointment with him.

I’m doing the best I can here, but I feel like I’m missing something. I’m not sure how to make this situation better. But I need for it to get better. I can’t keep doing this. In addition to the discomfort, it’s causing me so much anxiety that my grinding, which I’m trying so hard not to do, may loosen the crown or cause other long-term or permanent issues.

Please help. I need to make another appointment, but I feel like this one has to be the last one. I’m frustrated and getting resentful.

I’ve called around to other dentists to see if they could fix it. They’re hesitant to touch another dentist’s work. I feel stuck, and am not sure what to do. And I’m scared that my inaction will be detrimental to my oral health.

How do I talk to him so that he fixes this once and for all? I know he cares. That is obvious. And he’s a great dentist. What do I do here?
Am I clear with this, you're saying your tooth feels fine when you leave the surgery but an hour later you notice it's still not right?
Or is it still not right during the appointment but you think it'll get better and a while later it still isn't?

If it's the latter, then get the dentist to keep at it till it feels completely right. If it's the former, it sounds like you're going to have to accept that multiple visits will be required, some people can be aware of extremely subtle discrepancies in their bite and it can be a real trial and error job to get them sorted.

I second what Gordon wrote, and had one more thing to add: Does you dentist check the bite only when you are lying back? it is better to check the bite when lying back and sitting straight. It makes a difference.
Hi, thanks for your responses.

To answer the question, it’s been the former. Each time he adjusts it, it feels so strange again in my mouth and I just can’t tell if it’s completely better.

I guess my frustration has been that I’ve never had an issue like this, before this dentist. The first time a dentist gave me a crown on this exact same tooth, she spent a solid 20 minutes getting the bite right, checking it at every angle, even shaving just slightly part of my bottom tooth that was hitting funny to get it perfect. I never had any issues, the bite was always comfortable after that.

My experience with getting the bite right with this dentist, on the very same tooth a different dentist had no problems with, is like night and day. He prides himself in being as conservative as possible, which is something I appreciate about him. He won’t do any treatment that doesn’t really need to be done. So I wonder if part of this is him being extra careful with how much of the crown that he shaves off.
Update: After going back a few more times since writing this post, and it still not being fixed or feeling much better, I went to a different dentist. He noticed immediately where the spot was that needed corrected, and within about 2 minutes, got it fixed. My mouth feels so much better and I finally have relief after 3 months of being uncomfortable.

Lesson learned. Sometimes you need to get a 2nd opinion!
I am so relieved for you.. aghhh. what you went through! Glad you got your second opinion and the new dentist helped. I guess every dentist has their strengths and this last guys wasn't getting bites right.. even if he was a good dentist for most part.