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Poorly fitting crowns and dental negligence claims

There are a number of things that can go wrong when a person suffers from poorly fitting crowns, and this can lead to compensation being recovered for pain caused and the further dental treatment that is required as a result.

WHAT IS A CROWN AND WHEN MIGHT IT BE REQUIRED?

Dental crowns are generally used on broken teeth to repair them, often after root canal treatment, to strengthen an underlying tooth, following the fitting of a dental implant or to physically enhance the appearance of a tooth.

A crown is a covering which sits over the tooth or implant so the tooth can become functional again,  strengthening the tooth which may have become weak or brittle due to decay or previous fillings for example.

The natural tooth that is being covered with the crown can often require filing down in order to make the crown fit properly and some crowns require posts to be inserted into the tooth/gum first.

HOW LONG SHOULD A CROWN LAST?

Crowns should, according to our dental experts, last for 10-15 years, but they could last considerably longer than that.  How long a crown lasts will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to the health of the tooth, how well the crowns are cared for, and whether they have been fitted properly by the dentist in the first place.

In our experience, the dentistry behind the fitting of a crown is a huge contributing factor to the lifespan of a crown.  Fitting a crown or bridge falls under Restorative Dentistry and a dentist should have the relevant experience to carry out such treatment.  If he/she does not, and a person suffers from having a poorly fitting crown, that may be negligent and give rise to a claim.

WHAT PROBLEMS COULD YOU EXPERIENCE FROM POORLY FITTING CROWNS?

There are valid reasons as to why crowns can fail on occasions, i.e. they fall out or become uncomfortable.  However, there are reasons when this might occur as a result of dental negligence.

Before fitting a crown a dentist should remove any decay present in the tooth, x-ray the area to ensure a crown is suitable and ensure there is no existing infection/gum disease that may require treatment first.  Whilst fitting a crown a dentist should make sure that there is no gap between the crown and the gum-line (although one could appear over a period of years as gums shrink) and ensure all visible cement is removed from the surface of the crown/gum.

Sometimes crowns can fall out if there is not enough tooth structure to hold the crown in place.  This can happen if the tooth was already very weak or small.  If a dentist files down a tooth too much when fitting a crown so that there is not enough tooth structure for the crown to fix on to, this may cause the crown to fall out prematurely and this may be negligent treatment on the part of the dentist.

When crowns require a post to be inserted into the root first, suitable x-rays should be taken to ensure the post is fitted properly.  If the root is perforated by the post, this could cause enduring pain and infections.  Ultimately, if a root is perforated at this stage the tooth is unlikely to survive and it is likely the tooth will require extraction at that point.

OUR EXPERIENCE

It is not always the best solution to fit crowns where other dental problems exist.  We have experience of dealing with cases where other dental treatment was required first before it was appropriate to fit crowns, and accordingly this impacted upon the life of the crowns and the extensive dental treatment required in the future.  We also have experience of dealing with cases where dentists have perforated roots of teeth when fitting crowns, causing the loss of the tooth and the need for implant surgery.

This is not to say that all problems associated with crown placement arise out of negligent dental treatment, but given that the purpose of such dental work is usually to improve the appearance of the teeth, if the outcome is cosmetically unpleasant, there may be a claim.

If you are worried about poorly fitting crowns, give one of our specialist team a call to chat through your concerns and whether or not you may have a claim for dental negligence.

Want to know more?

Call 0800 051 8069

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15 comments

  1. Soreness increasing after crown cemented 17 days ago in New Orleans, LA.

    Don Paul Murphy
  2. Crown lasted 2 years, now I need oral surgery, due to poorly fitting crown.

    Día Russi
  3. Expensive crown lasted 2 years, now I need oral surgery, due to poorly fitting crown.

    Día Russi
  4. Hi, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing issues with your dental treatment. Please do contact us to discuss this further

    dentalnegligence
  5. I was fitted for a crown almost a month ago. I am not needing a root canal. I believe the reason is due the fact there is a gap between my tooth & the crown. is this true?

    Kelseigh
    • Hi Kelseigh, thank you for your query. Please do call us or email one of our team to discuss this further. With kind regards, the Dental Negligence Team.

      dentalnegligence
  6. Fitted for a crown 6 months ago. Many failed attempts to properly align my bite. I believe they cut tooth down too much. Now crown moves and I’m not able to chew on that side

    Charmin McCoy
    • Hi Charmin, thank you for your query. Please do call us or email one of our team to discuss this further if you would like us to consider whether you will be able to make a claim. With kind regards, the Dental Negligence Team.

      dentalnegligence
  7. Pain for one year (in bed and unable to function) but was denied by the dentist there was a problem. The dental college found the ill fitting crown and discovered the dentist has already been reported as he allows his help to fit the crowns. Improper bite is the result. I have spent so much money for help, and would like reimbursement as I still must have treatments for the pain. It was obvious there was a problem.

    Cathy Turner
    • Dear Cathy,
      I am sorry to hear about the problems you have suffered with your dental treatment.
      If you would like to discuss a potential claim, please feel free to contact one of our team to see if we may be able to assist you.
      Kind regards,
      Stephanie

      dentalnegligence
  8. Hi can you help I had my teeth done in Turkey

    Kirsty bebbington
    • Hi Kirsty,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately, we only have jurisdiction to assist where dental treatment has been carried out in England or Wales.
      Please do visit the Law Society on – https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/ to see if there are any firms who may be able to assist with treatment carried out in Turkey.
      I’m sorry we cannot assist you further.
      Kind regards,
      the Dental Negligence Team

      dentalnegligence
  9. Nowhere in your commentary do you educate the public that a person is born with teeth God made and they are the best teeth they will ever have.No one on earth can deliver a better natural tooth. The teeth that God made can develop problems that cause them to deteriorate and not last a lifetime. That’s what gave rise to the dental profession. A person who chooses to avail themselves of modern dentistry has no right to sue another human being because they don’t measure up to perfection not even God can attain. As ethical attorneys you should recommend that your clients accept responsibilty for their conditions and not seek intervention from another human. Rather they should be told to just live with the teeth God made.

  10. The dentists did a root canal/crown on the eyetooth.
    The contemporary crown, it took about 35 or 40 minutes to pry the temporary on. They cracked the tooth underneath my gum. They can get the crown in there, because my tooth is cracked. They say I need an Implant. When I went in they filled 3 teeth. In my front tooth the crown came off, they apparently fixed that. My eyetooth, I knew it was bad. I just the fill it or leave it own. They said they do a root canal on that crown. I’m out eye tooth. My gums hurt like crazy. With dental insurance, I had to give $2300.00. I’m on disability, I can’t afford the in plant. What do I do?

    Vickie
    • Dear Vickie,
      I’m sorry to hear about your dental treatment. I note that you paid in dollars and so understand that you may not have undergone your dental treatment in England or Wales? Forgive me if this is incorrect.
      Please note that we only have jurisdiction to assist with potential claims for treatment carried out in England or Wales.
      If you would like to speak with one of the dental negligence team further, please do email or call us and we can discuss whether you have a potential claim in negligence.
      Kind regards,
      Stephanie
      The Dental Negligence Team

      dentalnegligence

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