My dentist says he can’t do a porcelain crown on my left rear molar because there isn’t enough space and because he sees evidence that I grind my teeth at night. He gave me the option of a metal or a gold crown. I’m not choosing a dark metal crown, but I don’t understand how it or gold wouldn’t take up more space than porcelain. If I switch dentists, is it possible that I can get a porcelain crown anyway? – Keith from CT
In some situations, including second molars, there is little space to work with when placing a crown. Porcelain crowns are thicker than metal, so metal is often used in limited space.
Gold resists corrosion and can be cast for a precise fit. And a gold crown will last longer than other metals. If you grind your teeth at night, you need a crown with exceptional strength to withstand the force of your teeth grinding together.
Protect Your New Crown with a Night Guard
If he hasn’t already done so, you dentist will likely recommend a custom night guard for you to wear while you sleep. It will protect your teeth and new crown, so wear it nightly.
If you grind your teeth at night or clench them during the day, you might also experience some TMJ symptoms that the night guard will alleviate:
- Jaw pain, clicking, or popping
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear
- Neck pain
As with any healthcare treatment, you’re welcome to get a second opinion from a cosmetic dentist to discuss your options. Bring your digital x-rays with you to the appointment or send a copy in advance. The more information a second-opinion dentist has about your case, the more accurate his or her diagnosis and treatment options will be.
Dr. Siny Thomas, a Sugar Land, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.