Top dentist chipped my tooth

I went through a lot of trouble to find a top dentist for a smile makeover. So how in the world she ended up chipping one of my teeth I will never know. I had 3 old, old crowns that needed to be replaced and for some reason the dentist was having trouble getting one of the crowns off. The first 2 came off without a hitch. After 20 minutes of trying to get the other one off I felt a big yank and felt a metal tool hit one of my left incisors. The dentist said, “Uh oh.” Uh oh? I asked her what happened and she told me that one my teeth was a little chipped. She let me look at it in a mirror and she said she would touch it up right away with dental bonding. She did a decent job but I can see where she did the touch-up. I now have temporary crowns on the 3 teeth I went there for and I am afraid to see what the new ones will look like if she couldn’t get the bonding right. With the work already in progress, how can I switch dentists in the middle of treatment? What can I do about a top dentist who doesn’t seem to know what she is doing? Tad

Tad – Although any dentist can claim to be a top dentist, it doesn’t mean that he or she has the skill, training, and experience needed to give you a smile that looks great. It is also possible for any dentist to make a mistake.

A mistake doesn’t necessarily mean that your dentist doesn’t know what she is doing. But if you can look at your tooth in a mirror and see where the bonding meets your tooth, your dentist might not be experienced or talented in every aspect of cosmetic dentistry. It takes skill to manipulate dental bonding to match the color and translucence of your natural teeth.

As a suggestion, you can receive a second opinion from a skilled cosmetic dentist. He or she can examine the bonding on your chipped tooth and improve or replace it.

It sounds as if your dental crowns have been ordered already, so you might want to give your dentist a chance to complete the work. Otherwise, it might take some time and negotiation, along with additional expense to cancel the placement of crowns that have already been ordered from the lab. If the dental crown work is faulty, your new dentist might be able to help you negotiate a reasonable solution.

This post is sponsored by Chatham, NJ accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Allyson Hurley.

Fillings from the pediatric dentist keep falling out

My son got 3 cavities filled by the pediatric dentist in January. It’s only been 2 months, and 2 of the fillings have fallen out. The dentist replaced them. I keep checking my son’s teeth and yesterday I notice that one of the fillings is loose again. When I took my son back to have the fillings replaced, we weren’t given a good explanation. The dentist kind of implied that they are making filler material like they used to. This really doesn’t make sense to me. If filler material is substandard, can’t she find a good material that would last? My husband has had 2 fillings within the past year and hasn’t had any problems with them. Is this something common to fillings for children? Thanks. Aurora

Aurora – Without knowing what type of filling (amalgam or composite) was placed and examining your son’s teeth, it’s difficult to say why the fillings keep falling out.

It is likely that there is too much moisture during the process of filling your son’s teeth. When a tooth is filled, it needs to be dried first. Throughout the procedure, a pediatric dentist should ensure that moisture is kept away from the tooth, and steps are taken to ensure the tooth is kept dry. A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth, and cotton and air are used to keep it dry. The dry environment is needed to place the filling and ensure it dried properly.

If children are moving around in the dental chair or pushing their tongue around a tooth that needs to be filled, it makes it difficult to keep the tooth isolated and dry. But experienced pediatric dentists know how to work around those situations. If a child has dental anxiety, some dentists have ways of helping patients relax or keeping then distracted. If necessary, they can use a mild anti-anxiety medication to help them relax. Your child might be completely cooperative, and the issue might be completely with the dentist’s technique.

We suggest that you get a second opinion from a different pediatric dentist. If your son is uncooperative with his current dentist, he might react differently with another dentist. A second-opinion pediatric dentist can examine your son’s fillings and determine if faulty materials or faulty technique is causing the fillings to fall out.

This post is sponsored by Chatham, NJ dentist Dr. Allyson Hurley.