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My New Dentist Is Hesitant About Replacing My Crowns

I agreed to let my former dentist replace my old amalgam fillings with composite fillings or crowns, depending on the size of the cavities and tooth structure. In late March, we started the work, and my dentist placed two fillings and three crowns. The crowns are uncomfortable because they are bulky and press on my gums. My bite is off too. I was stressed because family issues came up and interrupted my dental care. Two weeks ago, the pain was so intense that I decided to call around for a cosmetic dentist who could see me right away. Although the dentist could not do anything at that time, she offered to do free x-rays and a paid exam. I canceled treatment with my former dentist.

The new dentist says that my nerves are irritated, and she does not want to replace the crowns until the nerves heal. She did not explain what is happening with my teeth. I do not understand this, and I am anxious and concerned that I need to switch dentists again. Is nerve irritation related to when I can get crowns replaced—especially if they hurt? How can I find the right dentist? Thanks for your help. Leighann from NH


Thank you for your question. We are concerned about your new dentist’s hesitation to replace your crowns without explaining the source of the issue.

Nerve Irritation with Dental Crowns

If a dentist cuts deeply into teeth when preparing them for crowns, it can irritate tooth nerves. In contrast, removing a crown may be mildly irritating—if at all. After a week or two, tooth nerves should calm down. But the irritation should not linger.

Dental Crown Placement

Dental crowns should fit so comfortably that they feel like natural teeth. Crowns that press on your gums, feel bulky, and disturb your bite are poorly made or placed. It seems that both dentists are uncomfortable with the process.

Young woman resting in a hammock portraying how sedation dentistry helps you relax
Ask a dentist about sedation options to help you relax while getting dental crowns replaced

Unfortunately, it is best to switch dentists again. Instead of scheduling an emergency appointment, this time, select a cosmetic dentist with extensive with post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training. You can consider scheduling consultations with two cosmetic dentists to increase your comfort in choosing a provider for your new crowns. Explain your anxiety to each dentist, and they will discuss sedation options to help you relax during crown replacement.

Rocky Hill, Connecticut cosmetic dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, sponsors this post.

Is Replacing One Porcelain Veneer Risky?

My dentist wants to replace a veneer because I have sensitivity from exposed dentin. I am concerned about damage to adjacent veneers and that my dentist will not be able to match the veneer. Another dentist placed the veneers six years ago when I lived in Chicago. Now that I moved to rural Georgia for family reasons, I am concerned about whether to let this dentist replace one veneer or if I should drive two hours to a larger city. My current dentist does a great job helping me maintain my surfaces, but she has not completed any significant work on my teeth. So, I am unsure of her skill level. I would love to leave the veneer, but if the sensitivity gets worse, that is not ideal either. Is it worth it to replace one veneer, or is it too risky? Thank you. Ciara from Georgia


Thank you for your question.

Is Replacing One Porcelain Veneer Risky?

a thin veneer, similar to a LumineerReplacing one porcelain veneers is not risky for a trained cosmetic dentist. It is worth replacing one veneer when your tooth’s health is at risk. When the dentin (the layer beneath the enamel) is exposed, irritation and sensitivity will increase with time. Dentin tubules connect to the tooth pulp and cause sensitivity. If bacteria contaminate the pulp, you can get a tooth infection that requires root canal treatment.

Will Replacing One Veneer Damage the Adjacent Ones?

A skilled cosmetic dentist will not damage adjacent veneers when replacing one. They carefully use tools designed to treat individual teeth without harming others.

Will One New Porcelain Veneer Match the Others?

Trained cosmetic dentists are adept at matching veneers with your natural teeth or other veneers. They understand how to manipulate color to achieve a match. Also, cosmetic dentists collaborate with dental ceramists and laboratories that keep patients’ color formulas for future work.

Look for a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training to replace your veneer, even if you must travel to get quality work. Your new cosmetic dentist can contact your dentist in Chicago to request your dental records and get information on the color formulas for your veneers and the lab that made them.


Rocky Hill, Connecticut cosmetic dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, sponsors this post.