My dentist pre-ordered a crown, but my Repeat root canal may fail

My dentist took the crown off an abscessed molar and did a second root canal on the tooth. I had my first root canal in 2013. After the root canal, I had an ongoing infection for six weeks. My dentist referred me to an endodontist who got rid of the infection, but he told me not to wear a crown for a few months. I decided that if the tooth gave me any more problems, I would have sedation and an extraction. My dentist ordered a new crown, which I paid for half in advance. I asked for a refund because the specialist told me not to get a crown for a while, and I want to see if the tooth will last. But my dentist’s office will not refund me. Am I unreasonable? – Lola from SC


Your request is polite and reasonable. It is not wise to crown a root canal tooth until you know treatment is successful. And the specialist recommended that you wait, too. Some root canal treatments fail the first time. But this is the second treatment for your tooth. So, the risk of failure increases. And your next appointment may be for sedation and extraction.

Getting a Refund for a Pre-Ordered Crown You May Not Need

Woman's face with her eyes closed while she receives dental work

Your dentist did not necessarily do anything wrong with your root canal procedure. But it is fair for him to be responsible for ordering a crown without knowing the treatment results. Your dentist should be aware of the risks of repeat root canal treatment and be willing to refund you for the crown and all fees.

You can contact your dental office again and ask to speak with your dentist. If that doesn’t work, you can schedule an appointment with your dentist to examine the tooth and use the time to talk about your concerns. Other options are to report the issue to your insurance company or the state dental board or file a case in small claims court. Or a call from an attorney’s office might work, too.

Miranda Lacy, DDS, a Plano, TX female dentist, sponsors this post.

How Can I Fix a Chipped Tooth?

My teeth are healthy, but I want to make some changes that will make my smile look better. Three weeks ago, my tooth chipped. It’s really a small chip on the outer edge of my front center tooth. You can see it, but it is not very noticeable. But I have also been wanted to get my teeth whitening. I read online that I should get my teeth whitened before getting a porcelain veneer for the chip. How natural looking will the veneer look? Can a dentist shape it exactly the way it was? And if I get my teeth whitened, will the veneer be a close match or a perfect match? I am afraid to get a veneer if it is not going to match perfectly. Since it is a cracked front tooth, I think a mismatched veneer will be more noticeable than the small crack. Thank you! M. Santiago fro LA

Dear M. Santiago,

We wish that Dr. Lacy could examine your tooth to explain your treatment options. But you likely have two options for your cracked tooth, and a porcelain veneer is one of them.

How Can You Fix Chipped Tooth?

A dentist can repair a chipped with a porcelain veneer or dental bonding. Either cosmetic dentistry treatment can make your tooth look like it was never chipped. Let us explain the difference between repairing a chipped tooth with a veneer vs. dental bonding.

Porcelain veneer for a chipped tooth

If a cosmetic dentist repairs your chipped tooth with a porcelain veneer, you can expect the following:

  • Coverage – A porcelain veneer will cover the entire front of your tooth.
  • Tooth preparation – A dentist will likely need to prepare—or etch—the tooth lightly to ensure the veneer fits well.
  • Crafting the veneer – After your dentist takes an impression of your teeth, a lab will make a custom veneer to fit over your chipped tooth.
  • Skill level – A dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training can give you a lifelike veneer that matches the characteristics of your chipped tooth and matches your brightened smile.
  • Cost – The average cost of one veneer in the U.S. is about $1500.
  • Longevity – Well-made veneers can last up to 20 years.

Dental bonding for a chipped tooth

If a dentist uses dental bonding to conceal a chipped tooth, you can expect the following:

  • Coverage – Dental bonding will fill in the chip and blend with the surrounding tooth structure. A dentist will not need to cover your entire tooth with bonding.
  • Tooth preparation – A dentist will roughen your tooth enamel in preparation for bonding.
  • Crafting the bonding – A dentist mixes composite bonding in the office to match your tooth shade. Afterward, the dentist will shape, harden, and polish the bonding.
  • Skill level – Almost any dentist can use dental bonding to conceal a small chip.
  • Cost – The average cost of dental bonding in the U.S. is about $100 – $400 per tooth.
  • Longevity – Dental bonding lasts three to five years.
Before and after photos for information on free teeth whitening, from Plano TX dentist Miranday Lacy DDS.
A cosmetic dentist can whiten your teeth and match bonding or a veneer

If you prefer a porcelain veneer over dental bonding, look for a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training. Then, you will get natural-looking results that match your newly whitened teeth.

Miranda Lacy, DDS, a Plano, TX female cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.