My Dental Crown Broke: Now What Do I Do?

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dental crown broke

Why did my dental crown break?

Unfortunately, even the best dental crown can break. If your dental crown broke, there are some things you need to know about what happened and how to fix it now. With this information you may be able to stay away from the dentist longer next time.

Dental crowns (also known as caps) are often used in cases where a tooth has been severely damaged. The cap covers the whole outer surface of the tooth, preventing further decay and keeping the remaining parts of the tooth intact. The procedure for placing dental crowns is highly effective. Because of the health benefits associated with restoration instead of extraction, dentists like crowns.

Why do dental crowns break?

There isn’t a single reason why dental crowns break. Establishing why your dental crown broke can help you so you can  prevent the problem from occurring again. Things that commonly cause crowns to chip or crack include:

Grinding of teeth (either while you’re sleeping or awake.) Bruxism, or teeth grinding, causes damage to your natural teeth, so if you’re doing it while you’re awake, it’s important that you unlearn the habit. One way to rid yourself of this habit is to reduce your stress levels.
Biting on hard things, much like with your natural teeth, can cause your crown to break. You should avoid eating things that are very hard, even if you don’t have dental caps. In many of these cases, your dental cap might not even have been much weaker than your real teeth, the pressure was just simply too much.
Crowns that aren’t made of strong materials can be more prone to wear and tear. Anything from fluctuating temperatures to regular chewing can cause these crowns to fail. To avoid this problem, you should ask your dentist about the quality of the materials used. Not every dental technician is the same. And the lab that makes your crown will have a huge impact on its durability.
Your bite can place pressure on certain parts of your crown when you chew. This pressure over the long run can easily cause a break. Quite often, this is the underlying problem when you’re having your dental crown break repeatedly.

What you can do about your broken crown

You should ask your dentist what caused your crown to break. Doing so could help you learn the underlying problem. By correcting the central issue, your new crown should last you much longer. Of course, if your crown broke after you bit on something hard, you may already know what went wrong. But still talk to your dentist about what you should change since you’ll likely be eating something similar in the future.

Fixing dental crowns

Broken dental crowns are hard to fix. Once you damage a crown, you’ll likely need to replace it. While it’s important that you see your dentist about a broken crown as soon as possible, broken crowns aren’t usually considered to be a dental emergency. Seeing your dentist within 5-7 days after your dental crown broke will usually be safe.

dental crown brokeHowever, there are cases when a broken crown can’t be left that long without treatment. If the crowned tooth is very painful, or there are sharp edges that can cut the inside or your mouth, you need to see a dentist much sooner, perhaps even the same day, if you can. For the most part, you’ll be able to tell by the level of discomfort you’re experiencing whether or not your broken crown is a dental emergency.

In certain cases, patients think that their crown is the problem when, actually, the tooth itself has been damaged. This tends to cause more pain, but could be completely painless if the tooth pulp has died. Unfortunately, your broken tooth might no longer be able to support a crown and you may need an extraction. If that’s the case, getting a dental implant is a great option for replacing your missing tooth.

Come in and get your dental crown fixed

While waiting for your appointment, you should practice good oral hygiene. If you feel hesitant to brush the area where your broken crown is, use mouthwash or a salt water solution after brushing to kill bacteria.

Remember, while your broken dental crown might not be causing you too much pain, you should not leave it untreated for a long time. If your regular dentist is unable to help you within the first few days, you should consider asking visiting a dentist that can help you sooner. A broken crown that’s left untreated can create the perfect place for bacteria to grow, which can lead to an infection that will be much more painful and harder to treat than a broken dental crown.

If you live in the Ft. Lauderdale area, stop by so we can get you a new crown. It won’t take that long, and we think we’ll do such a good job, you won’t have to see us for a while afterwards. Schedule your appointment today!

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