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Patient Guide To Getting A Good Fitting, Good Looking Crown

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The most common questions I receive on my blog are related to

patients not getting what they expect with respect to crowns/caps.

Here are the issues patients face:

  • Crowns that were placed without having the patient first approve the esthetics (ugly crowns)
  • Crowns that fit so poorly that they are adjust/ground down many times and eventually result in the tooth dying
  • Crowns that leave black edges at the gumline
  • Crowns that look and function more like mushrooms
  • Crowns that are sensitive
  • Crowns that result in root canal treatments

To help patients get what they deserve, which is a good looking, good fitting comfortable crown, I have put together a few essential steps for every patient that will result in getting the best possible crown that the dentist is able to provide.

BEFORE you see a Dentist

  1. What are YOUR expectations? In dentistry you will get what you pay for so if you have high aesthetic expectations for your dental crown then you need to select a dentist that is know for providing premium care, which pretty much means you need a fee-for-service dentist. Why is that? It is because insurance companies in the dental realm tie the dentists hands so tight that they are not able to charge the fees required to pay a top dental technician to provide a beautiful crown. Furthermore, time is money and quality dentistry requires that the dentist spends a lot of time making the tooth design perfect. Simply put, if you have high expectations then you need to be prepared to pay a little more. This is a body part! You will use this crown daily and it needs to last a looooong time, so why compromise on something this important?
  2. What is more important to you, function for aesthetics? Nothing beats a full gold crown but few people elect to use this option. I still put gold into my mouth 🙂

AT the Dental Office

  1. Clearly communicate your needs that you have established in #1 above. How picky are you…the dentist needs to know. One of the best things a dentist can do is turn down a case 🙂
  2. Make sure you feel comfortable with the personality and character of the dentist. You will work together on giving you a smile you will have for decades so there is no rushing or compromising in my opinion.
  3. Ask to see the ACTUAL before and after photos of cases the dentist has completed. Every dentist that has a passion for dentistry takes lots of photos! No photos is a deal breaker. Also, photos of other dentists work is even worse! If they show you a book that was written by someone else, that does not count. You don’t want to be an experiment.
  4. Make sure the dentist understand a few critical rules you will have:
    1. You want to see exactly what you will get in a provisional form
    2. You want to approve everything visually prior to final cementation
    3. You will pay 50% up front, 50% upon cementation
    4. You want to know who the lab/technician is that makes your work. This is critical. Every TOP dentist has a close relationship to a TOP lab, not a factory.

Now you are ready to get started!!!!

I hope this helps reduce the unhappy results many of you are talking to me about…

Keep Smiling,

Dr. Chris

posted in Blog, Cosmetic Dentistry

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