Emergency Dentist Refuses to Repair Another Dentist’s Mistakes

Three months ago I had a crown done. I’ve been back every week since then trying to get it adjusted because it’s hurt from the beginning. Today, though, it broke off and a piece of it shattered off. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t trust the dentist who did the crown, so I decided to try an emergency dentist. The great thing was they got me in that day. I just wanted them to re-bond it on. I didn’t even care about the chunk that broke off because the tooth isn’t visible. But, the emergency dentist refused. He insists the crown has to be entirely replaced. Is he just doing this because it’s someone else’s crown?

Pamela W.

Dear Pamela,

Libertyville Emergency Dentist

I don’t know the dentist, so I definitely couldn’t tell you his motive. What I can tell you is something is seriously wrong with that crown and it is more likely that it actually does need replacing. Even if the broken piece isn’t visible, it is broken. You’ll have rough, possibly even jagged, edges that can cut you. More than likely, there’s a tiny opening somewhere that material can get into the crown. That will lead to decay and then instead of needing a new crown, you’ll need a tooth extraction and dental implant to replace the tooth.

A porcelain crown should last a minimum of five years. Yours didn’t even make it half a year. The first thing you can do is go back to the original dentist and have him replace the crown free of charge. That’s a perfectly reasonable demand because your crown is not functional. I understand that you don’t trust the dentist who did the crown. So that may not be an option you’re too keen on.

Aside from having him do another crown, you have two choices. The first is just pay the emergency dentist to create a new crown for you. Crowns aren’t a difficult, advanced procedure. Every general dentist knows how to do one (Well, maybe except your dentist). If the tooth were visible, you would need to make sure the dentist was an artistic cosmetic dentist. But, you said the tooth isn’t visible so just a decently attractive functional crown will be fine.

If paying for a second crown is a hardship, you are within your rights to ask your dentist for a refund on the dysfunctional crown he provided. Even if it’s not a hardship to pay for the second crown, you should ask for a refund out of principle. If he doesn’t do even minimally adequate work he needs to be held accountable.

I know it’s been a frustrating experience for you but hopefully, a properly made crown will take some of this stress away. I’m certain you’ll at least feel better physically.

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