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Dental Procedures, Dental Tips

Dental Crown Problem: Learn how to avoid getting bad teeth crowns

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Crown doesn't fit properly, it happens during wrong or faulty dental crown installations
In this image, you can see crowns that are no longer sealed. This can happen overtime. However, crown gaps are not necessarily visible. Faulty crown problems can exist with newly installed dental crowns, even though the gaps are not visible to the naked eye.

Dental crown problems are not just something that you can disregard or ignore. Among other functions, crowns are normally designed to help seal and protect your teeth against further damage.

But what happens when the ones that should be protecting your precious teeth becomes the one that caused its destruction? This article will talk about unsealed and ill-fitting dental crowns and how important it is to manage the condition immediately.

What are unsealed crowns?

Unsealed or leaking crowns are restorative crowns placed in a tooth preparation which have a crown gap. Think of a dinner plate or a drinking glass that has a micro crack. It’s best to throw them away because overtime, bacteria collects in those cracks.

These crowns (or caps) do not actually fit tightly on top of your existing tooth. Badly sealed crowns may look normal at first but as the cement inside the crown is slowly dissolved, unwanted symptoms may show after several months or years. You might think you have a good cap on your tooth, but the problem hides underneath.

The presence of gap or space prevents the tooth crown from completely sealing the whole tooth against acid attacks in the mouth. Without the complete sealing of the margins, the metal crowns, porcelain crowns,or even zirconia crowns could break or fail. Even worse, they can cause more damage to your tooth root underneath. This could result in a root canal or even an extraction. (Yaiks!)

What causes ill-fitting crowns?

Unsealed crowns can be caused by one or more factors. Here’s a list of some dental crown issues and its effects:

PROBLEM SOURCE HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU?
Dental crown was rushed
  • When crowns are rushed, errors occur, such as incorrect margins
  • Crowns cemented with an open margin allows entry or seepage of saliva inside the crown, which causes decay.
Crowns not cemented correctly
  • Dentist did not meticulously check the crown margins.
  • Dentist made an error during crown cementation
  • Dental crown gaps allow flow of saliva and bacteria inside the crown.
  • Tooth decay, pain and infection
  • Dissolved cement resulting in loose dental crown or crown break
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Root canal or tooth loss
Dentist disregarded dental crown fabrication errors
  • Since patient is rushing on the dental treatments, the dentist avoids correcting errors to meet the time frame. (It sounds shocking, but it happens!)
  • It could happen among dental tourism patients that demand faster results such as same day or two day multiple crowns from unethical dentists
  • Crowns placed are cut short of the tooth margins resulting in dental gap
  • Poorly made teeth crowns not fitting properly
Bad dental laboratory work
  • Dentist uses low quality dental lab
  • Dentist rushed the lab technicians to meet tight deadlines
  • Poor quality and design, crown doesn’t fit correctly
Dentist bypasses dental protocols due to time pressure
  • Dentist bypassed a necessary metal check appointment, and went straight to cementing the PFM crown
  • Dentist did not do periapical Xrays to check the crown seal before cementing
  • A complicated crown preparation took less than 15 mins., when it normally takes around 30-40 mins.
  • Over reduced supporting tooth resulting in a weaker tooth structure
  • Under reduced tooth results in thin crowns or overcontoured crowns with indefinite margins
  • Poorly defined margins resulting in bad crowns with open margins
How do I know if my crown doesn’t fit properly?

Patients don’t easily detect unsealed crown margins, except for those crowns that obviously have large crown gap. It’s difficult for the patient to know, especially for newly installed crowns and full mouth crown restorations. You could walk away from a full mouth rehabilitation feeling happy about your brand new teeth, not knowing those crowns will begin to have tooth decay under the crown.

Most of the time, only the dentist has the knowledge in evaluating the marginal seal of the cap. Detecting faulty crowns with open margins and leaking crowns require periapical x-rays and an experienced dentist with a trained clinical eye.

How do I avoid getting a bad crown?

Here are some tips to avoid getting bad crowns:

1. Seek an experienced dentist in Mexico that guarantees his work. At Dayo, we require Dayo Dental Network Dentist to guarantee their work at least for 5 years. This avoids problems with your dental work when you travel abroad.

2. Check for the credentials of the dentist. If you need one or two crowns, a less experienced dentist would be ok. But if you need multiple crowns such as a smile makeover, you need someone who has the proper training, successful track record, and many years of experience.

3. Request a dated copy of post cementation x-rays that will show that the crowns were properly sealed before you leave. This is especially helpful when you’re having full mouth restoration. You need proof that the crowns were sealed. (If you see your dentist sweating at this point, then you are onto something).

4. Choose a dental specialist such as prosthodontist or a highly trained dentist when you need 5 or more crowns. This is especially true for full mouth restoration. In the US, a general dentist can’t do a full mouth restorations unless he receives special training for it.

5. Don’t demand rush dental work. This is one of the most common sources of bad dental work in Mexico. You don’t demand rush dental work with your US dentists, why should you demand differently with Mexico dentists? Unless of course, you are ok with them bypassing good dental protocols.

Many dental travelers base their decision on who can make their crown restoration fastest. Some demand extensive crown restorations to be completed in just 2-3 days. For an experienced dentist, this is borderline unethical.

Many in Mexico advertise same day crowns or next day crowns that offer to be of great quality. Dentist are more prone to having errors under time pressure. Patients coming from out of state who force their dentist to finish multiple crowns in a rush have greater chances of ending up with poorly made crown restorations.

6. Choose a trusted dentist who uses high quality lab materials and technicians for his dental treatment. Having an in-house lab doesn’t necessary mean that the dentist’s crowns are made by the most qualified dental technicians and the best lab. Sometimes, those who outsource their lab work have the advantage of choosing the best labs who specialize in specific cases, such as zirconia crowns or gold porcelain crowns.

7. Don’t go shopping for cheapest crowns in Mexico. You get what you pay for. You are already saving significantly in your dental cost by going to Mexico. If you penny pinch, you may be sacrificing quality and your dental oral health significantly. Some dentists offer dental crowns at a very low price that may even sound too good to be true. Offers like this should be carefully considered to avoid falling into the trap of bad dentistry and costly rework.

What should I do if I have a crown problem?

Badly sealed crowns should be replaced immediately. This should be done to prevent further damage to the exposed tooth structure. You should visit a trusted and experienced dentist to evaluate your crown and let him design an appropriate treatment to fix your problem.

Where can I find a dentist in Mexico that I can trust?

There are many good and qualified dentist in mexico in locations such as Los Algodones, Tijuana, Nogales, and Cancun that could help you with your crown problem. You may try checking out these links and see if one of these dentists are near you.

Dental crowns for full mouth rehabilitation requires a highly skilled dental practitioner who knows a lot in the dental field. The doctor must have enough experience in creating tooth crown preparations that will allow fabrication of tight fitting and well adapted dental crown.

Just like in the US or anywhere in the world, there are good dentists and bad dentists. You just have to be savvy. We recommend educating yourself so you don’t turn your dreams of looking good the other way around.

Have you ever had a bad experience with a dentist?  Can you add some pointers to avoid this bad dental experience?


About Dayo Dental Staff

Dayo Dental Staff is a team that helps you make an informed decision about your dental care. Dayo Dental also delivers you to trusted dentists in Mexico where you get safe, affordable, and superior dentistry. Learn More.

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