Cheap is cheap
Many dental patients come to our office for second opinions or to have us correct something that an unscrupulous dentist had done in the past. Recently I saw a patient, lets call her Ruth, who came to our office because she had a crown done by her previous dentist and the gum tissue around the crown was extremely itchy and red and she felt as if there was something caught between her teeth. I examined the Ruth and took an Xray and noticed immediately what she was concerned about. The gum surrounding the crown was horribly inflamed. In fact, the inflammation between her teeth was so severe that the gum was pushing the teeth apart. The rest of Ruth’s mouth looked perfectly healthy, only the area around this crown had this terrible reaction.
There are a few reasons for this type of gingival reaction following dental work, but more and more common, is the quality of metal used to fabricate the crown. Dentistry is a business where profit margins run extremely low believe it or not and many dentist are looking for ways to increase profit by using crowns made in China. The cost of sending a crown to China to be fabricated can be as little as 10 percent of what it would cost the dentist if he or she used a lab in the US. This is not an issue except that we now know that these crowns contain lead, which is poison. The first stage of reaction to these types of crowns will be inflammation and pain or discomfort of the gum tissue around the crown. If not replaced, it can do serious damage to the supporting structures of the tooth (the bone and gums).
Ruth had no idea that her dentist was using crowns made in China, which is unfortunate. Our office uses the highest quality materials and labs located right here in New Jersey, which is good for our patients and the local economy as well. Our office does pay a lot more for our crown restorations, but we think it is worth it and so do our patients. Below are two links for further reading. Both do a very good job of informing people of the hazards of exporting lab work to china, both from a health standpoint and an economic one. But my best advice is to tell you to ask your dentist what is in your crowns.