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Are My Dental Crowns Too Short?

crowns. The implant crowns are on my top left first and second molars, but they do not touch the bottom first and second molars when I bite down. My dentist checked my bite when he placed the crown, and he knows the teeth do not meet. I thought that top and bottom teeth should slightly meet when you bite down or chew. Are my implant crowns too short? – Thank you. Cecilia from Detroit


Dr. Goebel would need to examine your teeth and implant crowns to determine whether the crowns are too short or if another issue is affecting your bite. But yes, your upper and lower teeth should touch when you bite down or chew. To achieve a proper bite, a dentist needs advanced training in occlusion (how your teeth come together).

Should Your Upper and Lower Teeth Touch?

Your upper and lower teeth should touch when your mouth is closed and when you bite down for several reasons:

  • Jaw function – When you clench your teeth together, all your teeth will meet at the same time if your bite is aligned correctly.
  • Sliding function – When you move your teeth from one side to another, either only your canine teeth should touch, or all your back teeth should touch evenly.

Without proper occlusion (how your teeth meet), your teeth may move over time and become crowded. Also, a misaligned bite can cause jaw and neck pain, headaches, and ringing in our ears.

Diagram of three phases of a dental implant: separate compoonent, implant screw in the bone, and the crown attached
Ask your dentist to recheck your bite if your implant crowns do not fit well.

Some dentists check your bite with this method:

  • Put a 0.05 mm thin strip of plastic between your teeth
  • Ask you to clench your teeth together
  • Pull the strip to see if your teeth can hold it or if it is easy to release

If your teeth meet correctly, they will hold onto the strip.

Ask your dentist to recheck your bite to ensure your implant crowns fit well. If your dentist cannot resolve the issue, schedule a consultation with a dentist with advanced training in occlusion and bite.


Cosmetic dentist Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, Illinois, sponsors this post.

My Implant Crown Is Still the Wrong Color

After two tries, my dentist could not get the color right on my implant crown. He had me visit the lab to check the crown color. Both times, when the crown was ready, my dentist was hasty in attaching it. I cannot see well in his office. And in retrospect, I should have gone outside to look at my crown. It is still the wrong color. My current peak hurts, too. My dentist had difficulty getting it onto the implant, so I avoid chewing on the left side of my mouth. Although my dentist thinks I need time to adjust to the crown, I’m done with him. Still, I am a little nervous about finding another dentist and getting a new implant crown. Can I ask for a refund? Thanks. Dmitriy


We are sorry that you have a frustrating experience with your implant crown. Replacing a missing tooth with an implant should give you natural-looking results so that you cannot tell the difference between the implant and your natural teeth. That is one reason people choose implants.

When a Dentist Cannot Match Your Implant Crown to Your Teeth

Dental implant complete with a crown and an unattached crown to the left of itWhen your dentist cannot get your implant crown color right after several tries, they lack experience and training in cosmetic dentistry. Your dentist seems to have little interest in your comfort and how your implant looks. A dentist who takes pride in the work gets your opinion before cementing a crown. It is unusual to send a patient to the dental lab for color-matching, which implies that your dentist does not have confidence in his work.

Get a Second Opinion

You are wise to get a second opinion for replacing your implant crown. This time, look for a dentist with advanced training in cosmetic dentistry and restoring dental implants. You can expect the following:

  • Achieve a perfect color match for your crown
  • Replace the crown without damaging your implant
  • Ensure the implant crown fits well and is in harmony with your bite


You can begin by scheduling consultations with at least two implant dentists with advanced cosmetic dentistry training. After the consultation, you can choose a dentist. And yes, ask your dentist for a refund because he did not give you a functioning crown that matches your natural teeth. Your new dentist may be willing to help you request a refund.

Cosmetic dentist, Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, Illinois, sponsors this post.