New Crown hurts

I got a new crown a few weeks ago. It hits my other teeth funny, which makes it hurt every time I bite. I went to my dentist. He looked at it and said it’s fine and to give it time. I have given it time and it’s still hurting. What do I do?


Dear Cammi,

Woman holding her jaw in pain
Damage to a bite can lead to TMJ

“Give it time.” That’s dentist speak for, “I don’t know how to fix this.” Here’s what needs to happen. This crown needs to be adjusted. It’s likely the crown is just too high. When you bite down, the other teeth are hitting the crown before it meshes. The pain you’re experiencing is just part of the deal. If this isn’t adjusted, it can do damage to your bite. Fortunately, there are things your dentist can be doing to deal with this.

First, he needs to determine if the crown problem is simply it is sitting too high. If so, a simple adjustment can fix everything. If that doesn’t work, there is a next step. He can have you bite down on a bite registration paper. Where it registers the bite too high he can make some adjustments.

Of course, dentists with advanced training wouldn’t have this problem to begin with. If they did, they’d fix it with a properly made crown. The key this time is to get you out of pain and make sure your bite doesn’t get damaged. The last thing you want is TMJ Disorder.

What Type of Dentist Can Treat TMJ?

Neuromuscular dentistry requires advanced training. Traning you can’t get simply by going to dental school. It needs post-graduate training. Don’t hesitate to ask where they received their TMJ training. Some schools that are very reputable are:

  • Dawson Academy
  • Spear Institute
  • Pankey Institute
  • Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Denture Disaster

I can’t afford a full set of dental implants, which is what I really wanted. I know they’re better, I just have no way of getting them. I wasn’t thrilled about getting dentures but just thought I could make the most out of it. But, I just can’t deal with the movement. The stupid things haven’t fallen out, but they slide enough to make me nervous. This whole thing has been a disaster. It’s so discouraging. Is there anything I can do which will keep them in?

Mona B.

Dear Mona,

An image of a snap-on denture
Snap-on Denture

You’re in a tough spot. While some people can get along with dentures, no one really loves them. Even the best fitting dentures cause you to lose 50% of your chewing capacity. Unfortunately, that will only get worse. Your body begins reabsorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. So, the longer you wear dentures, the more jawbone you lose. Eventually, there’s not enough jawbone left for you to retain your denture any longer. This is known as facial collapse. The only way to repair it is if you get bone built back up through bone grafting.

Solution to Slippery Dentures

Snap-on dentures are a good intermediate step for you. It will allow you to anchor the dentures to your jaw with as few as two implants. Obviously, the more implants you have the better, but this is an affordable way to get dental implants to preserve at least some jawbone. This also gives you time to save up to get more implants as you’re able to.

Don’t get too discouraged. You’re at least doing the research to find out about solutions. Many people go years without hearing the warnings about dentures or learning of any solutions.

Just be sure to not let any old dentist do the work. It is an advanced procedure. You don’t want to risk it being done improperly. Make sure they have significant post-graduate training in restorative dentistry.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Porcelain Veneers Staining After Months

I am thinking I did something terrible. My dentist told me that my porcelain veneers would last for years. But, I’ve only had them for a little over seven months and they look awful. They were fine, even at my six-month checkup and cleaning. It was after that they started picking up stains. I don’t know what I did. I thought I was super careful. I researched and got a special toothpaste that’s supposed to be for porcelain veneers called Supersmile. Was that a scam? Did that mess them up? Can this be fixed? I’m embarrassed to tell my dentist, but I really love these veneers.


Dear Cathy,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument

You didn’t do anything wrong. The Supersmile toothpaste isn’t a scam. It’s actually the absolute best toothpaste you could have purchased for your porcelain veneers. Great job looking that up. It’s something your dentist should have told you about when you first got the veneers placed.

My suspicion is it’s your dentist’s office that made the terrible mistake. It sounds to me, based on the timeline you’ve given that your hygienist didn’t understand the proper care of porcelain veneers and used something on it like a prophy jet during your cleaning.

This would have removed the glaze from your veneers, leaving them dull and susceptible to staining. Without the glaze, they’ll never look good again.

What Do You Do If Your Glaze Is Removed on Your Porcelain Veneers?

Because it’s your dentist’s office that likely did this they need to fix it. There is a special procedure which requires a special diamond polishing technique which could restore the glaze. Unfortunately, it’s such an advanced procedure I doubt your cosmetic dentist knows it, especially if they didn’t even know how to properly clean your veneers.

My guess is they’re going to have to replace your veneers completely. If they give you any problem with that, you can show them this post. Or, maybe go to another cosmetic dentist for a second opinion. Sometimes, not wanting to look bad in front of your local peers is a great motivator.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Dentist Perforated My Sinus!

I need help. I’m in complete agony. I don’t like dentists to begin with, so it took a lot of pain for me to go in to see one to begin with. I don’t have a regular dentist so I contacted an emergency dentist. He said my pain is being caused by two molars that are beyond repair. He offered to extract them and I agreed. The next day, my nose felt weird and kept making strange popping sounds. I called the office because I’d never had this procedure before and didn’t know what was normal. They suggested I take a decongestant. Mind you, they never mentioned the possibility that anything else could be wrong. I started taking the decongestant, but by morning I developed a fever. I called them back and they called in an antibiotic for me. Still no mention of a problem during my procedure. A week later, I’m in so much pain I just show up at their office and tell them someone has to check me right then. They bring me back. That’s the FIRST time they mentioned that my sinus had been perforated during the procedure. He removed some pieces of bone and said I should be good to go. It’s now another week later and I’m getting worse. Do I need to go to a hospital?


Dear Missy,

Woman holding her jaw in pain

Holy Molars! That is one heck of a horror story. I’m very sorry you’re facing this. Your emergency dentist really blew it on a lot of levels. Our sinus cavities are quite close to some tooth roots, so perforated sinuses do happen. But, there is a protocol he’s supposed to follow to help aid healing. Part of that is informing you so that you know not to place unnecessary pressure on it during healing and to not blow your nose.

Secondly, it sounds like he has you on the wrong antibiotic. You should be much better by now. Here’s what I want you to do. While most perforated sinuses heal on their own quite nicely, yours has progressed way too far. I think you need an emergency ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) appointment. Let your medical doctor know what is going on so he can recommend one for you TODAY.

They’ll not only get you on the correct antibiotic but will give you a treatment plan for healing. Be aware, if it’s progressed as much as I think you may need surgery to correct this.

Dental Emergencies and Dental Anxiety

Fear eyes looking out from behind a chair
Dental Anxiety Leads to Dental Emergencies

In our practice, we’ve noticed that many dental emergencies we end up seeing, developed because the patient has dental anxiety and avoids the dentist. It sounds like you’re in this category. Plus, with the experience you’ve just had, I wouldn’t be surprised if you never wanted to step into a dental office again.

I don’t want you relegated to going from one dental emergency to another, always having painful visits to the dentist. Because of that, I want to let you know that there are dentists who cater to fearful patients. They’re gentle and compassionate. They won’t lecture you about not coming in. Instead, they’ll help you get your oral health on track.

You’ll find even your body feels better once your dental issues are in hand. There’s a way to do it both stress-free and pain-free too. I want you to look for a dentist who uses sedation dentistry. This will allow you to sleep through your appointments. It has changed the lives of many fearful patients who were eventually even able to come without sedation.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.