Tag Archives: second opinion

Worried a Dentist Killed My Tooth

I had a toothache. I went to see an emergency dentist because I don’t have a dentist of my own and this seemed urgent.  I described what was going on. He told me he can’t see anything wrong but my description means I’ve cracked my tooth. He suggested a crown. I decided to get right on it to be done with the whole disaster. Unfortunately, not only am I still hurting, but the tooth next to it has started turning gray. I’ve read that means it’s either dead or dying. Did my emergency dentist cause a new emergency?

Bebe M. – Virginia


I feel it’s unlikely the dentist injured or killed the tooth.  There are three possibilities that come to mind right away. I’ll start with the least likely one. Let’s say you injured the cracked tooth and then a few days later, without realizing it, you injured the tooth right next to it.  Yeah, like I said, not likely. But, it’s possible so I mention it.

Another more likely scenario is that both teeth were injured at the same time but the uncrowned tooth took a little longer than the other to show symptoms. This does happen.

As this tooth is dead or dying it will need a root canal treatment. You’ll want to deal with this quickly, though I know you’re tired of the situation. If you don’t it’s going to harbor bacteria and then you’ll have a serious dental emergency on your hands.

I am going to suggest that you go to a different dentist to have this treatment done because of the third possibility—misdiagnosis. It could have been the graying tooth that was the problem all along. Maybe it was referring pain and that’s why the dentist thought the crowned tooth is the problem or maybe he just messed up. Either way get the x-rays the first dentist did and bring them to the dentist you hire to do the root canal treatment. He or she can look at them and let you know if something was missed. If it turns out it was, you can get a refund on your first treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.


How to tell if you need crowns

My dentist wants to replace my silver fillings in #3,4,5 with crowns. How can I tell if that is necessary?

Madeline J. from Wisconsin.


In dental school we are taught a few guidelines that can make a dental crown desirable.  Two of the main ones are: 1. The width of the filling: Once a filling gets to to a certain width it weakens the tooth and makes it prone to fracture. 2. There may be fracture lines showing.  Amalgam (silver) fillings tend to weaken a tooth.

Other than this it is really a judgment call on the part of your dentist. That is why it is so important to have a dentist you feel you can trust. Most dentists are trustworthy, but there are a few out there that use pressure sales tactics or try to rush you into a treatment option. If you’re feeling uncomfortable with the decision you can get a second opinion. Just make sure the second dentist doesn’t know who the first dentist is or what treatment recommendation you were giving. It is always best to get a blind second opinion.

You may also be interested in a Mercury-free dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.