Last September, my dentist did a root canal and crown. The crown came off, and it and the post broke. Is my dentist responsible because his work didn’t last? – Thanks. Kenneth from San Diego
We are sorry to hear about your experience. Although Dr. Rota would need to examine your crown, we can offer some advice based on the few details you provided.
When a Crown and Post Break
When a crown and post break, your tooth probably broke off near the gumline. Most of your natural tooth is probably gone, so if both the crown and tooth failed, the post may be weak, or your tooth cannot be saved.
Is Your Dentist at Fault?
A tooth that breaks near the gumline is challenging to save. Your dentist’s attempt to save the tooth is commendable. Sometimes, other circumstances cause a post and crown to breath. Although your dentist might not be at fault, if the post and crown only lasted a few months, he may be willing to take responsibility for some of the cost. But your dentist is not legally responsible unless he did something wrong. And based on your details, that is not the case.
Your Teeth Bite
If you bite with a tremendous amount of force, as your teeth age, they begin breaking down. Even dental work cannot withstand the force of an exceptionally heavy bite.
If your crown and post broke and your dentist cannot save your tooth, your options are a dental bridge or an implant to replace the tooth. Regardless of which option you choose, if you have a heavy bite (“gorilla bite”), a hard plastic nightguard will help preserve your natural teeth and dental restorations. A nightguard will also minimize the risks of developing TMJ symptoms, including jaw and neck pain, headaches, earaches, and ringing in the ears.
Before you decide on treatment from your dentist, you can get a second opinion on your dental crown and ask a dentist from another practice to examine them.
Dr. Duane Delaune, an cosmetic dentist in Metaire, Louisiana, sponsors this post.