Why Didn’t the Emergency Dentist Treat My Husband and Me the Same?

My husband and I both had a dental situation which seemed exactly the same, but the emergency dentist treated us differently. We had a toothache. I had one first and avoided going in because I was sure it would need a root canal. When it became too hard to bear I went in. Lo and behold, it needed a root canal. Then my husband gets a toothache in a similar area. I told him if he didn’t go in he’d need a root canal also, but he did the same thing I did, and put it off.  Then, his blows up and he goes to the SAME emergency dentist but is told he only needs a crown. No root canal. Why the different treatment? Was my husband neglected or me given an unnecessary treatment?

Sara C. – New York


There are a few reasons the emergency dentist gave you two different treatments. One is the cause of the toothache. Teeth can hurt for different reasons. Some hurt for a cracked tooth. Some hurt for an infection or cavity. Some even hurt from a sinus infection.

Maybe your husband’s cause of pain was for something that didn’t require a root canal, but yours was. For instance, you have a cavity and the decay was close to a nerve. But, when he had a cavity, the decay hadn’t reached the center of the tooth or approached a nerve. But, it was invasive enough to need a crown instead of a filling.Those are usually the reasons for needing a root canal.

Patients also have different pain thresholds. Maybe your husband’s intolerable level is much lower than yours. So, when he ran to the dentist, it wasn’t too bad.  But, you could be a tough nut, so by the time the pain was too much for you the infection had really dug in.

I wonder what is the reason you have such an aversion to the dentist? Did you have a bad experience? I’m sure you’re aware the sooner you see a dentist, the easier the procedure.  Not to mention preventative care could keep you from having a problem to begin with.

If you experience dental anxiety, there is a fantastic solution. I’d look into dental sedation. This won’t knock you out. You’ll still function, but you’ll be completely relaxed and pain-free. You’ll likely find it revolutionizes your view of dental care.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.


My Teeth…My Choice, Right?

I don’t understand my dentist’s attitude. I need two dental crowns on my front teeth. I want CEREC crowns. My dentist says no, even though he has a CEREC machine. I’ve heard all-porcelain is the best for front teeth. CEREC are all-porcelain, so what’s the problem? It’s my teeth. Shouldn’t I choose?

Ben M. – Texas


I understand your frustration. And I see your point of view. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a dentist who will happily give you CEREC crowns on your front teeth.  However, before you make a decision, I want you to understand your dentist’s reasons for saying no. Then, when you have all the information you can make a fully informed decision.

Your dentist likely is also a skilled cosmetic dentist. He’s looking out for your appearance. Yes, you’re right that they are made of all porcelain. The difference is unlike a traditionally made all-porcelain crown, their CEREC crown counterparts are milled from a single block of porcelain. They’ll still be beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as those teeth that were taken from different blocks of porcelain.

Our teeth are not uniform. The centers are more milky and the color gradually gets more translucent as you move down toward the bottom edges. Having different blocks of porcelain helps mimic those minute changes. It will give you a more natural look.  With most teeth the difference is hardly discernible, but front teeth are different. They’re so visible, that those minute changes in porcelain make a huge difference.

It sounds to me that your dentist wasn’t trying to boss you around. Instead, he wants to make sure you have the best care possible. It would have been nice for him to explain that to you instead of just making a proclamation. Sometimes dentists, with the best of intentions, forget what it’s like to be a patient.

The thing to ask yourself before deciding is if one-appointment is worth you not having your teeth as gorgeous and natural-looking as possible. The biggest issue is that they’re your front teeth, not that CEREC-crowns are a lesser treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.