7 doctors weighed in:

Is there any reason a dentist would add silver on top of a porcelain crown ? Had a chipped tooth that was built up and crowned - my dentist wants to add silver because the top of the crown is so thin. It seems crazy.

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Tupac
Dentistry - Prosthodontics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Don't understand

Adding "silver" to the top of an existing crown is not commonly done, unless it is to repair a hole in it.

In brief: Don't understand

Adding "silver" to the top of an existing crown is not commonly done, unless it is to repair a hole in it.
Dr. Robert Tupac
Dr. Robert Tupac
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Dr. Steven Mc Connell
Dentistry - Cosmetic
1 doctor agrees

In brief: What

What could have possibly happened is that the crown was starting to wear through, losing the integrity of the surface.
One way to repair it is to place what would be similar to a “filling” in the top of the crown. The type of filling material chosen highlights two basic schools of thought in dentistry today. Traditional dental treatment is much more metal based, silver fillings, gold crowns and even the tooth colored crowns have a metal core or substructure. There are also those of us that have gotten away from any and all metal. We no longer do silver/mercury fillings. Our crowns are made of metal free ceramic that is designed to look and wear almost identical to natural tooth structure. A silver filling to repair a metal based crown is an appropriate option. However, you may want to investigate metal free options for the next time you need a new restoration. In my experience, they are notably healthier and more esthetic.

In brief: What

What could have possibly happened is that the crown was starting to wear through, losing the integrity of the surface.
One way to repair it is to place what would be similar to a “filling” in the top of the crown. The type of filling material chosen highlights two basic schools of thought in dentistry today. Traditional dental treatment is much more metal based, silver fillings, gold crowns and even the tooth colored crowns have a metal core or substructure. There are also those of us that have gotten away from any and all metal. We no longer do silver/mercury fillings. Our crowns are made of metal free ceramic that is designed to look and wear almost identical to natural tooth structure. A silver filling to repair a metal based crown is an appropriate option. However, you may want to investigate metal free options for the next time you need a new restoration. In my experience, they are notably healthier and more esthetic.
Dr. Steven Mc Connell
Dr. Steven Mc Connell
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Dr. Jonathan Scharf
Dentistry - Cosmetic
1 doctor agrees

In brief: It's

It's really difficult to understand the exact situation that you are describing but it does seem unusual to make any modification like this to a newly placed crown.
It is sometimes acceptable to repair the access hole in a crown made for a root canal with a silver filling, but if the crown was made too "thin" to begin with it probably should be remade after the underlying tooth is reshaped to allow enough room for proper thickness.

In brief: It's

It's really difficult to understand the exact situation that you are describing but it does seem unusual to make any modification like this to a newly placed crown.
It is sometimes acceptable to repair the access hole in a crown made for a root canal with a silver filling, but if the crown was made too "thin" to begin with it probably should be remade after the underlying tooth is reshaped to allow enough room for proper thickness.
Dr. Jonathan Scharf
Dr. Jonathan Scharf
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Dr. Leonard Tau
Dentistry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: I

I am not exactly sure what you mean but it sounds like the dentist fabricated a porcelain fused to metal crown and left a metal island on the occlusal do to lack of room from the tooth above.
It is normal and done quite often when you have limited clearance between back teeth. Not crazy at all if that is what it is.

In brief: I

I am not exactly sure what you mean but it sounds like the dentist fabricated a porcelain fused to metal crown and left a metal island on the occlusal do to lack of room from the tooth above.
It is normal and done quite often when you have limited clearance between back teeth. Not crazy at all if that is what it is.
Dr. Leonard Tau
Dr. Leonard Tau
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In brief: Dr

Dr scharf is correct.
Silver filling are usually placed in root canal access openings, which is not the case here. It could be that he adjusted it so much to fit your bite that the top of the crown was "perforated", meaning that there is now a hole in it and the dentin is exposed. If that is the case, you do not repair a new crown with a filling. Have your dentist remake the crown after the tooth is re-prepped and has proper clearance with the opposing teeth.

In brief: Dr

Dr scharf is correct.
Silver filling are usually placed in root canal access openings, which is not the case here. It could be that he adjusted it so much to fit your bite that the top of the crown was "perforated", meaning that there is now a hole in it and the dentin is exposed. If that is the case, you do not repair a new crown with a filling. Have your dentist remake the crown after the tooth is re-prepped and has proper clearance with the opposing teeth.
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
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Dr. Lance Timmerman
Dentistry - Cosmetic

In brief: Not

Not sure the exact situation here, but normally a newly placed crown is not altered in this way.
If the crown is already placed and now there is need for modification, a remake is usually best. If during fabrication the chewing surface of the crown was made out of metal and the rest looks like porcelain, this is common and not an issue. If the bite was adjusted while it was placed and metal is showing (the metal framework for a porcelain fused to metal crown) it can be left alone and may not present a problem. If a newly placed crown was bite adjusted resulting in a hole exposing the dentin, then a new crown should be made. The situation does sound odd, so i likely don't fully understand the dentists situation and rationale.

In brief: Not

Not sure the exact situation here, but normally a newly placed crown is not altered in this way.
If the crown is already placed and now there is need for modification, a remake is usually best. If during fabrication the chewing surface of the crown was made out of metal and the rest looks like porcelain, this is common and not an issue. If the bite was adjusted while it was placed and metal is showing (the metal framework for a porcelain fused to metal crown) it can be left alone and may not present a problem. If a newly placed crown was bite adjusted resulting in a hole exposing the dentin, then a new crown should be made. The situation does sound odd, so i likely don't fully understand the dentists situation and rationale.
Dr. Lance Timmerman
Dr. Lance Timmerman
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