What is wrong with my amalgam filling on the top of a new crown/cap?

Hi, I just had a temporary cap. The tooth still hurt. The dentist then drilled through the temporary cap and did a root canal. When he placed the permanent cap he said it was high. He ground it down and it now has a small amalgam filling on the top. I was expectin a perfect tooth. Was I wrong and is his procedure correct? Thanks, Steve

Doctor Answers 4

Amalgam vs Crown

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Hi there!

It sounds like the crown was buffed to make room for your bite, thereby exposing the underlying metal substructure of your porcelain-to-metal crown.  The metal substructure should protect your tooth despite the porcelain overlay missing in that spot.  If you want a "perfect tooth", then the original crown will need to be removed and a new crown will have to be made.  Don't wait too long before addressing this issue with your dentist or else be prepared to start afresh with a new dentist.  Good luck!

Sarah Kong, DDS

Dallas Dentist

What is wrong with my amalgam filling on the top of a new crown/cap?

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It is probably not an amalgam filling that you see after your dentist adjusted your bite, but rather the metal under the crown.

That is not generally a problem, other than not optimum esthetics.  If it really bothers you, then you could either ask the dentist to replace the crown with a new one that doesn't show the metal, or else have him drill away the part of the metal that is showing and place a tooth colored filling.  Thus, you wouldn't have to go through all the preparation and impression procedures that a new crown would entail.  Since you had root canal anyway, you wouldn't even need to get local anesthetic (Novocain) in order for him to "patch" the metal spot with toot colored composite.

Norman Huefner, DDS
Laguna Niguel Dentist

Wrong Bite Affects the Look of Crown

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Hi Steve,

What happened is a failure between the dental lab and the doctor.  The tooth was made too tall so it interfered with your bite. That is a dental laboratory issue. The doctor then filed the crown down to fit your bite rather than send it back for a redo.  That filing wore through the porcelain top to your crown, exposing the metal underneath.  That metal substructure, there for strength and longevity of your porcelain fused to metal crown is supposed to be there; it is just not supposed to be exposed.  This exposed metal is what looks like a silver amalgam filling. If it causes an esthetic issue for you, it is well in your rights to ask your doctor to remake it.  If it is not an esthetic issue, this is not functional problem with your new crown.  Your crown can be a serviceable good crown for many years to come the way it is now.  Good Luck to you sir!           Dr. N. Summer Lerch


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I don’t believe what you are looking at is an amalgam filling. Your dentist probably placed a porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crown. A PFM crown has a metal substructure with a layer of porcelain veneered over it. There probably was not enough space between the prepared tooth and the opposing tooth, so your dentist had to remove some of the porcelain to allow for space. This does happen occasionally but could have been corrected by reshaping the opposing tooth or ensuring the prep had enough clearance at the initial appointment when the crown was prepared. At this point the only way to completely correct this is to remake the crown.

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