One of my porcelain crowns fell off. Is it because the dentist using a grinder?

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I had two porcelain crowns placed on my two front teeth. It was less than a month before one of them became loose and fell off. The dentist re-cemented it and then adjusted the bite with a grinder. This was done after it was cemented, so it felt “natural.” But after only another week, the back side of the crown where the grinder was used broke. I’m so nervous and embarrassed to go back. Is it possible my dentist using the grinder compromised the strength of the crown?

– Shannon in Tennessee


Grinding by the dentist is quite a common way to adjust the crown to the patient’s bite. So, the grinder is likely not the reason the porcelain crown came off.

That said, your porcelain crown should not be loose or falling off. It sounds like there was something wrong with the initial placement or manufacturing of the crown. Again, it should not fall off. Was your crown adjusted when it was initially placed? Well, that’s neither here nor there at this point. But it is possible that the dentist isn’t experienced in the high level of technique it requires to successfully place a crown on a front tooth. There are many components at play that require extensive experience and understanding of advanced tooth bonding materials and techniques used.

Then, the re-cementing doesn’t sound like it was done properly either. For it to break in the back means that there was extensive grinding, which made it dangerously thin.

You have a right to be nervous. And you’re not going to like the next recommendation. But you probably should have the crown completely replaced. Also, you shouldn’t return to the same dentist. You can ask for a reimbursement and try to find a cosmetic dentist that can show that they have done cases similar to yours. It would not be in your best interest to return to your current dentist to try and fix this problem again. There are cosmetic dentists that are experts at porcelain, metal-free dentistry and in placing crowns on front teeth. Be sure you find one that can prove to you that they have had successful cases. As you are now fully aware, not just any dentist does cosmetic dentistry well.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.