When receiving treatment from a dentist, missed diagnoses and mistakes made by the dental staff can lead to serious damage. Dentists and dental hygienists may make a number of mistakes every year. The problems involving dental negligence are often not reported as often has the negligence in other medical and surgical fields. However, dental negligence affects innocent patients every year.
Prosthodontists specialize in the placement of crowns. Patients can receive one or more individual crowns or a bridge that consists of three or more crowns. Crowns are metal and porcelain and are used as replacement teeth. These crowns can be placed on the natural tooth after it has been prepared to receive the crown or it can be placed on a dental implant.
Patients need a crown when the natural tooth has a cavity too large to be filled properly, a portion of the tooth has been lost, or for aesthetic reasons. Work with crowns requires precision. If the procedure is not performed correctly, then it can make the problem or pain worse.
Negligently placed crowns can result in:
- Overcontour – a crown should replicate the natural tooth that is being restored. Crowns that are larger than the natural tooth will trap bacteria. This can cause decay or periodontal gum disease.
- Malocclusion – after the crown is in place, the dentist may need to make slight adjustments in the bite. If this is done properly then it is usually not necessary to grind the opposing teeth in the opposing jaw.
- Inadequate embrasure space – new crowns and veneers should have enough space to floss between the teeth. If the floss shreds or if flossing is difficult or inaccessible then the space between the adjacent crown or veneer is not sufficient.
- Biologic width space – a new crown should not impinge the underlying bone and connective tissue fibers that overlay the bone. If the crown or veneer is prepared too deep underneath the gum, then the gum tissue will eventually become red, inflamed, recede, bleed, or develop pathologic gum pockets.
- Open margin – crowns or veneers may be cemented with unsealed margins that will subsequently leak and trap bacterial plaque with resulting decay and/or periodontal gum disease.
- Shy margin of preparation – a crown or veneer may not completely cover the prepared tooth surface over which the crown or veneer has been designed to be cemented is defective. This requires a new crown or veneer with margins that are not shy or short of coving the surface of the prepared tooth. Shy margins lead to tooth sensitivity and the exposed dentin surface is vulnerable to decay.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of prosthodontic negligence, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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