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Hello, A few days ago I had a crown put on my lower left tooth. While I was at the chair in dentist's office, I told the assistant that I could not close my mouth all the way down because the crown was sitting too high. As a result, she started grinding my top tooth which is a healthy tooth. I stopped her and asked her why she was grinding my top tooth while the problem was at the bottom, meaning, the new crown which was at the bottom was causing the problem and sitting too high. She said it was normal practice to grind the top tooth if necessary and also that we have 3mm of anamal on our tooth and losing some won't matter. She finally agreed not to shave any more off of my top tooth.

Three questions:
1-What she was doing, was it proper practice or fraudelent?? and was I correct on stopping her.
2- Is there really 3mm of anamal on our teeth or she was just trying to get me off of her back.
3- IF what she was trying to do was imporper, what should I do to prevent this from happening to other innocent patients.

Fortunately, there are many reasons an occlusal adjustment might be needed when placing a crown, and this may or may not involve the natural 'occluding' tooth. Since I can not examine you over the internet, I can only speculate that 1 of 2 usual reasons for requiring an adjustment was necessary... 1) the crown was too large by just a fraction OR 2) the tooth which was adjusted shifted between the time the crown impression was taken and the time the crown was cemented. Though it was perhaps ill-advised to proceed with adjusting your bite without informing you of what she was doing, it is often standard practice to remove a small bit of enamel to correct the bite. Yes, there is 3mm of enamel to work with, and assuming the adjustment was minor, you should not suffer any side effects such as sensitivity. I highly recommend that you speak with your dentist personally so that he/she may explain the treatment you received. Being a dentist myself, I always appreciate knowing when one of my patients is concerned. Please feel free to e-mail me again with any more questions.


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Last revised: January 03, 2005.