A family that was in my practice moved out of state (Iowa) several years ago. They recently returned and became patients in my practice again. First, the husband came in, as a tooth was bothering him, and he had been told it needed treatment back in Iowa. The tooth needed a crown, and he asked, “Can you do it it one visit?” I replied, “Did you get a one-day crown back in Iowa?”
My wife did. Do you do them?
No. I’m very familiar with the technology, but it’s just not right for my practice.
It has its place in dentistry. But, I prefer lab-fabricated restorations.
And, he seemed satisfied with that. We proceeded with his new crown.
Along came Sally (not really her name)
Yesterday, his wife returned to my office for an exam and to get back into the hygiene recall system. We got her recent x-rays from Iowa by email. I noticed the new crown on tooth #18. She told me it’s been sensitive ever since it was placed (less than a year ago). She also asked, “There’s a dark line at the bottom. Is that a problem?” I replied, “That could be a number of things, let’s take a look.”
Is that why it’s sensitive?
My explorer could easily fit into the open facial margin. She could “feel that.” Blowing air into it also caused sensitivity. The x-ray image above came from the Iowa office.
Now… this blog article is NOT intended to start a “Cerec vs. Lab-made” flame war. I realize that lab-fabricated crowns can also have open margins. And, I also acknowledge that we ALL have had less-than-ideal outcomes with our work.
My point is that we all should recognize our own poor results and make them right.
So, how do we approach the situation with the patient, without throwing the other dentist under the bus?
I simply told her that this result was less than ideal. I told her that every dentist that has practiced for even a short time has some of these under his / her belt. It’s just a matter of the timing of her move back to Florida and when the less-than-ideal result was recognized. The bottom line is that the crown needs to be replaced, and I’d be happy to do it. She seemed fine with it and did not express interest in contacting the previous dentist about it.
She’s in the schedule for the new crown.
How do you deal with being the “bearer of bad news?” What if the dentistry was recent? Chime in below!