Risks & complications of dental crown placement
On crowned teeth hazards: inflammation, pain, tooth decay, malocclusion...
A dental crown is a tight "cap" placed over a tooth for cosmetic reasons and (allegedly) to restore tooth strength. However in real life it's rather the opposite (as dentist Dr. Jerome comments, "it is common to find a crowned tooth to be very weak"). Dentist Dr. Graeme Munro-Hall states in "Toxic Dentistry Exposed" that "crowning should be the last choice ... not the first choice."
Here is a (not necessarily exhaustive) listing of potential risks and "side effects" of the placement of prosthetic crowns.
General risks of dental crowns
To understand the general risks involved in crown placement (ranging from gum and pulp irritation to pulp death with subsequent tooth extraction) which frequently apply to other dental treatments as well, read the important overview page Drilling & filling teeth: an unwise choice? which details the reasons why crowning frequently deals teeth the death blow.
(This can happen for instance by the dentist drilling too fast and/or removing too much enamel during the preparatory work for the crown, in which case the tooth will overheat with resultant pulp damage, inflammation and/or death - in fact, the main reason for eventual tooth extractions is inner nerve death due to crowning.)
Risks of crowning specific to materials used in dental crowns
Crowns typically are mounted on a base made of nickel, an extremely toxic metal.
Toxic allergenic metals in metal crowns
The use of metal alloys in prosthetic crowns leads to all types of metal ions building up in high concentrations in the gumline surrounding crowned teeth (visible as dark lines).
Aluminium from ceramic/porcelain crowns
When ceramic crowns are not fired at a high enough temperature or for long enough, they can give off aluminium.
Risks of crowning due to technical errors / incompetence of the dentist and/or laboratory technician
The following listing further enlarges upon the general risks and errors commonly involved in crowning already included in Drilling & filling teeth: an unwise choice?.
Crowns are frequently placed over amalgam fillings
Badly fitting crowns: bite problems (malocclusion), jaw and other pain, trapped food rests and more
Generally, an ill-fitting crown can result in discomfort or even major constant pain (including in the neck and back) as well as migraine, tinnitus, problems with sleep and TMJ issues - in fact, in a US Dental Malpractice suit, a patient was awarded $100,000.00 in damages for TMJ problems arising after crowning).
The nefarious impact an ill-fitting object in your mouth can have on daily life is illustrated by a case reported on the French-language internet. This case involved a man who was driven to suicidal feelings due to constant pain and sleeplessness from a crown that was too high, with his dentist instead of admitting and remedying his mistake, accusing him of turning his psychological issues into those physical symptoms.
Generally speaking, a crown that is too high and which is not corrected will first lead to much pain, then the tooth it is placed on will loosen, bacterial infection will set in, and eventually the tooth will fall out.
Crown margins: possible technical errors
The area where the crown's edge meets the gum and remainder of the tooth is critical.
If the margin of the crown is too long (apparently, a common method consists in burying the crown's edge into the gum), the gum will be irritated on a permanent basis potentially leading to bleeding, ulceration, gum recession, deepening of the gingival sulcus (the slight crevice separating the gum from the tooth) to form a periodontal pocket, and proliferating gum tissue; the tooth itself may start to move in its socket.
If the crown's edge is too short, dentin is likely to be exposed leading to pain or sensitivity to cold, hot, sour and sweet. Food rests may get stuck in the gap inviting the development of cavities. (One person however reported that new gum tissue grew over the existing gap in a matter of days.)
If the crown margin protrudes, plaque can collect underneath and within the gingival sulcus, leading to pain and possibly cavities.
The rot (new tooth decay) frequently developing at the margin of a crown not only eats into the remaining tooth but can also lead to inflammation of the gum tissue.
Other technical issues with crowns
If the crown lacks a slight curvature, a gum pocket may appear with subsequent inflammation and gum recession.
Testimonial: all teeth crowned
"Complete smile makeover" permanently ruins teeth: on "side effects" of crowning or the fallacious beauty promised by conventional dentistry.
Tooth decay at the edge of crowns prevented or stopped with xylitol
Much pain under crown: relieved thanks to xylitol, baking soda & sea salt
See Healing reports & testimonials re the use of xylitol sugar, number "10 - Highly impressive: pain under crown gone". This is a hugely encouraging testimonial for anyone with a dental crown who develops pain, since it shows just how resilient and able to self-heal even teeth damaged by decay and crowning are when you treat them with measures encouraging self-healing.
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1 Many details on toxic amalgam under Dental fillings.