I decided to get porcelain crowns a few years ago. My dentist said I needed a full-mouth restoration, and that there would not be any negative side effects. However, after the long intense process of getting extractions and crowns, a few of the crowns started hurting. I went back to my dentist several times for adjustments. When the pain went away, an abscess formed! An X-ray showed I needed root canals because of nerve damage. If I’d known about the risk of nerve damage, I may not have gone ahead with the crowns…
My dentist agreed to do several of the root canals I needed free of charge. However, more teeth have started hurting and even abscessing. I know they will most likely need root canals too, and I’m worried about the future. Will I need root canals on every crowned tooth? This whole process has been a nightmare. What can I do?
Stari, from Chicago, IL
When your dentist made your crowns, he ground down a lot of your natural teeth. If your dentist is not skilled at placing crowns, there is a rise of exposing the pulp inside your tooth. Exposed pulp can cause pain or become infected. If this happens, a root canal is the only way to remove the infection. Any teeth with decay or heavy fillings can increase the risk of infection as well. Teeth in poor condition may not be suited for crowns, and an extraction followed by a dental implant may have been a better course of action.
Your dentist should have definitely informed you of the risks prior to your smile makeover, so that you could make a fully informed decision. Since he did not, paying to fix the damage is the least he can do. It seems that by offering to pay, he feels some degree of responsibility for your situation.
Any problems with your crowns will have likely become apparent a few months after surgery. Since you’re a few years post-surgery, you are probably done with needing root canals. Should you need any more root canals, your dentist should continue to pay for them. If any of those crowns need replacing, opt for another cosmetic dentist for a second opinion.
This blog post is brought to you by San Antonio cosmetic dentist, Dr. Gilberto Tostada, of 5 Star Dental Group.