I think my tooth is cracked

2013.02.27

Two weeks ago I mistakenly bit down on something hard that should not have been in the food I was eating. I was sure that my tooth was broken. My tongue was bleeding on that side of my mouth. I went to the dentist the next day. She took x-rays and said that everything looked fine. I took ibuprofen for several days and it felt a little better. This week my tooth started throbbing. I really think it is cracked. Should I go back to the dentist? – Rob

Rob – At times, when I tooth is first traumatized, the damage doesn’t immediately show up on an x-ray. You should make an appointment with your dentist to have your tooth examined again.

If you are getting an infection in the tooth, it will require a root canal treatment and a porcelain crown to prevent it from breaking. The nerve in the tooth will eventually die, blood will no longer flow to the tooth, and it will become weak. The crown protects the tooth.

If the root of the tooth is fractured, the tooth cannot be saved. It will need to be replaced with a dental implant or a dental bridge.

See your dentist to get an accurate diagnosis and to find out your treatment options.

This post is courtesy of Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

My porcelain crowns don’t match my natural teeth

2013.02.14

Last October I got 3 porcelain crowns for upper teeth in the front of my mouth. One of the crowns matches the color of my natural teeth but the other 2 don’t match. Twice my dentist attempted to make the color match. He keeps saying the lab didn’t get it right. Through the whole process I have not pretended to be pleased, so with my last visit he said that he could try it again or if I want to leave the teeth as they are, he will give me a discount. 3 attempts? I have no confidence in his ability to get the match correct. I am disappointed and frustrated. What next? – Jane H.

Jane – Unfortunately, your experience shows how different an outcome can be, depending on the dentist who does the work. An artistically inclined cosmetic dentist beautifully restores teeth with porcelain crowns.

Although your dentist says attributes the color-match issue to the laboratory, it is the dentist who supplies the technician with notes and instructions to create your dental crowns. Color-match photography is available to take a color-accurate photograph of your teeth. The photograph can be sent to the technician, along with the dentist’s notes to get an accurate match.

You must decide whether or not you want your dentist to try the color match again. You have the option of making an appointment with a skilled and credentialed cosmetic dentist who can provide you with crowns to perfectly match the color and translucency of your natural teeth.

Since your dentist offered a discount because you are displeased with the work, perhaps he will be willing to provide you with some sort of compensation if you decide to let a cosmetic dentist do the work.

This post is sponsored by Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.