- If a crown is damaged, you may need medical attention. Your options include re-cementing the crown, replacing the crown or a dental implant.
- The causes of a broken tooth are the same as those that affect real teeth including excessive pressure.
- There are temporary solutions to relieve the pain and protect a broken crown at home, but only a dentist can provide you with proper treatment.
Has your dental crown broken? Here's everything you need to know.
Cracked dental crown treatment options
A broken dental crown may be frightening, but in many cases, a dentist can fix it. Here are some of the repair options as well as alternative treatments.
Re-cementing the crown
If there are no serious damages to your dental crown or tooth, your dentist may be able to re-cement the crown that has come off. This procedure is simple and non-invasive.
Your dentist will disinfect your tooth and crown. The tooth also may require desensitization before your doctor places the crown back in place.
After these preparations, the dentist will place the same crown with a cement mixture onto your tooth and verify that the crown has been properly cemented.
If your dental crown does not have severe damage, your dentist may be able to repair it with composite resin. This is somewhat similar to the dental procedure used in cosmetic treatments for small fractures in teeth. This is also a non-invasive procedure.
Replacing the crown
If the crown is irreparable, the dentist will decide to replace it. Firstly, your doctor will anesthetize the gums.
Then, the doctor will make a small hole or use leverage to break the seal of the cement. This will help to lift off the crown. The dentist may use a special substance to loosen the cement.
Afterwards, the dentist will clean the residue and debris. If necessary, the dental specialist will prepare your teeth with a dental handpiece for a new crown. Until the crown is ready, you may need to wear a temporary crown.
A badly damaged tooth may not be able to be restored with a new dental crown. . In this case, your dentist may choose to extract the non-restorable tooth and replace the area with a dental implant and implant-crown
Your dentist may use either local or general anesthesia. The doctor will then cut a small hole in your gums to insert a titanium post. This post is implanted deep into the jaw and acts like a root.
The new crown is then placed on the post. If the jaw bone is dense enough and with routine check-ups and proper home-care, you will be able to use your implant for decades.
Dealing with a broken crown at home
Treat a broken crown as an emergency and see a dentist. However, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the pain and protect the broken tooth.
Use a cold compress and/or take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen to ease the pain. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water which will reduce inflammation and infection. If the broken crown is still in place, avoid biting or chewing with that side of your mouth until you see a dentist.
If the crown has fallen out, you can temporarily attach it to the tooth with over-the-counter dental cement or toothpaste. Be careful not to swallow the dental crown to avoid health complications.
Remember that these are all temporary solutions. See a dentist as soon as possible for proper treatment.
Symptoms of a broken dental crown
Usually, you feel a broken crown with your tongue. Depending on its location, you may also be able to see the damage such as cracks.
Causes of a broken dental crown
A jaw or facial injury such as direct physical impact on the tooth is a common cause of a broken dental crown. Damage or decay under the dental crown and on the tooth structure can cause damage. Also, improper placement of a crown can lead to uneven pressure and damage.
Dental crowns can also wear down which weakens their structure especially in patients with bruxism.
How long can my tooth stay without a crown?
It depends on the condition of the tooth and the reason why the crown is needed. In general, it is best to have a crown placed as soon as possible to protect the tooth and prevent further damage or decay. Most dentists do not recommend keeping your tooth without a crown for more than two weeks.
How many times can I replace my crown?
There is no limit for replacing a dental crown as long as your tooth has adequate tooth structure . A dentist may re-cement the same crown if it becomes loose but has no damage.
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- Fixed prosthodontics in dental practice. O'Sullivan, Michael, 1968-. London: Quintessence Pub. 2005. ISBN 978-1850970958. OCLC 57062067.