Originally Posted by BlueMoon67
The part that I'm confused about is that this new dentist also recommended having four crowns replaced, and I do see his reasoning. They have a "margin" as they call it -- meaning a gap between the crown and the gum, and he says there is a bit of decay under one of them. (Can't this be seen on x-rays? I got the impression that the decay wouldn't full be known without taking the crown off.) He also recommended a few other minor things like replacing a few fillings, although they are not currently decaying. I have to admit the prices they quoted me seemed about average (I have no dental insurance), but the replacement for the veneer that chipped seemed high (about $1350 for one veneer).
It sounds to me like your dentist is drumming up unnecessary work. Every crown or filling will have a margin, its the interface between the tooth and the restoration and its best to keep it as small as possible, obviously, but its not a reason to replace a crown. I am not a dentist, but I am quite sure there is no way to see the decay until the filling/crown is removed, unless there is so much that it shows as a dark patch on an xray.
Why would the dentist suggest replacing fillings? Unless there is a problem with them I would leave well enough alone. I have some amalgam fillings that are 30 years old that are still functioning fine, and I'm sure the margins aren't perfect. There are risks with all dental procedures so unless you have a real problem that needs a solution, why expose yourself to unnecessary risk and expense?