I’m 53 years old, and had six crowns placed a few years ago. Two weeks ago, I had a new dentist fit a porcelain and gold crown to my upper rear right adjacent molars. These are the permanent crowns and aren’t temporaries. These new crowns are at least one mm or more away from touching the opposing lower teeth (these are crowned). I discovered that crowns should slightly touch opposing teeth. I need to have another crown placed on the other side of my mouth and need to know if my dentist made a mistake.
– Doug from Louisiana
You’re correct that dental crowns should touch their opposing teeth. If they are created properly, there are other important considerations. It’s important where the crowns touch and this is also called “occlusion.”
Proper jaw function depends on how your upper and lower teeth meet. When your jaw is aligned properly, you should be able to clench your jaw together and have your teeth meet at the same time. You should also be able to grind your teeth to the side and have only your canine teeth touch. This is important because these teeth have sturdy, long roots that help with sideway stress.
Another consideration is called “group function.” This is when all the posterior teeth have the same slope and when you grind your teeth to the side, they all touch evenly.
You have probably had the bite strip procedure done at the dentist. This is where the bite is checked with a thin strip of plastic between your teeth. No matter where it’s placed on your back teeth, you should be able to clench your teeth together and keep the strip from being pulled from your teeth.
If you have back teeth that don’t come together all the way, this may cause a problem because over time, they may drift together and then touch. While this may seem to work, there’s a strong chance they won’t touch correctly and will eventually throw your bite out of alignment. When this happens, you may suffer from TMJ disorder and this has to be dealt with right away as it can lead to other serious issues.
This blog sponsored by Baton Rouge Family Dentist, Dr. Ryan P. Perry