Will a gingivectomy stop my dental crown from falling off? The crown on my upper left first molar tooth has fallen off three times since August. The crown is new, and my dentist bonded the crown two weeks ago but said I would eventually need a gingivectomy or the crown would fall off again. He says that the gingivectomy exposes more tooth structure for bonding the crown.
Why wouldn’t my dentist notice I needed the procedure before I got the crown? Also, the base of the tooth is darkening. I have not returned for a gingivectomy because I am unsure if it is the solution. Do dentists use a gingivectomy to help crowns fit, or should I get a second opinion? Thank you. Becky from Salem, OR
Thank you for your question. We understand your concerns. A dental crown that repeatedly falls off can be frustrating and inconvenient. Dr. LeSage would need to examine your crown and tooth to determine why it falls off and is darkening. Dr. LeSage prefers porcelain onlays to restore severely damaged or decayed teeth conservatively, but he replaces crowns when an onlay is impossible.
Can a Gingivectomy Help a Dental Crown Fit?
A dentist may perform a gingivectomy, or crown lengthening, to help a dental crown fit. The procedure trims gum tissue and some bone to expose enough tooth structure to retain a crown.
After an x-ray and exam of a decayed or damaged tooth, a dentist who places crowns should determine what will be required to secure the crown. Your dentist should have known to include crown lengthening as part of your treatment plan.
Can Crown Lengthening Be Avoided?
Sometimes, a dentist can avoid the need for crown lengthening if a tooth is not broken off or severely decayed. A skilled cosmetic dentist may use this conservative approach:
- Prepare the tooth with a very slight taper
- Cut grooves into the sides of the tooth
- Bond the crown to your tooth
Get a Dental Crown Second Opinion
When a dental crown repeatedly falls off, and your dentist cannot correct it, your dentist should reimburse you because the crown does not function as intended. We suggest getting a second opinion for your dental crown from a trained, preferably accredited, cosmetic dentist.
Beverly Hills accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Brian LeSage, sponsors this post.