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Should I Skip the Holistic Dentist?


Should I Skip the Holistic Dentist?

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I have a more holistic philosophy about dental care because I have some metal allergies. We only have one holistic dentist in our town so I went. Unfortunately,  it was a mistake.  I wanted two simple things. First, to replace a metal crown with an all porcelain one. Second, to replace a couple of mercury fillings with composite ones. We started with the crown. We never got to the fillings for reasons I am about to explain. She did the crown using a machine that does it the same day. She said they are perfectly accurate. When the crown was done she bonded it in without ever doing a try in first. I remember my last dentist doing a try in for my crown to make sure it fit right. This one did not. In fact, my mouth was hurting almost from day one. She said I just wasn’t used to the new crown and to give it a week or so. I did and it hurt like crazy every time I chewed. I went back in and insisted she look at it. She seemed annoyed but did it. Then, she said that the crown was to a bit big and ground it down. She felt the tooth next to it was too big as well and ground that too. This worried me because the natural tooth had never been a problem.

That seemed to throw off my bite even more and my front teeth were hitting other things, which also didn’t happen before. So, she sanded down my front teeth a bit. Now, I’m still in pain AND I hate the way my smile looks. When I told her that my teeth still feel off, she told me that I needed to see an orthodontist. That was probably the most deflating thing she could have told me. I did not need orthodontics before this crown. I ended up going to see a different dentist first.  He told me that the crown tooth and the others she ground down are way too small and it has thrown off my bite. He thinks the crown needs to be replaced and the structure of the other teeth built back up. After checking my bite with some kind of bite scan, he showed me all kind of things that are wrong with it. Is it the fact that she’s not a good dentist or is it the fact that she used the computerized same day crown? Another question I have is that, given my metal allergies, should I keep going to this dentist or should I find a non-holistic dentist who does better work?


Dear Pamela,

A woman relaxing in a field of flowers.

I am VERY sorry this happened to you. Your dentist violated the standard of care and she needs to take responsibility for making this right. To me that means she should pay for all the repairs at the dentist of your choice.

The problem with your procedure is not because of using a CEREC machine, which is what is typically used for same-day crowns. Years ago, when home computers first became a thing, the phrase “garbage in/garbage out” became quite popular. This referred to the fact that a computer can only give you information based on what it is fed. If you feed it solid information, that’s what you will get. If the results of your CEREC crown were poor, that means your dentist did not know how to properly input the information.  Had she done so, you would have received a perfectly fit dental crown.

If this is a tooth that is visible when you smile, I would recommend a traditional porcelain crown instead of the CEREC crowns. This way, it can be milled from more than one block of porcelain. That will look more natural. For a back tooth, either is fine. However, insist they do a try-in. This is standard procedure and an important step that should not be skipped.

As for your question regarding whether or not you should stick with this dentist because she is holistic or go to another one, I firmly believe you should look for another dentist. There are many general dentists who are willing to work around patient’s allergies. There are metal-free dentists, as well as dentists who will provide you with holistic dental care even if they don’t consider themselves holistic dentists. Finding one of them will enable you to get the holistic care you need with a dentist who knows what they’re doing.

This blog is brought to you by Mt. Dora Dentist Dr. Michelle Stillman.