What to do if you have a chipped or broken crown?
If you have a dental crown, you should know that dental crowns can be chipped or broken. In some cases, a dental crown may fall out. Dental crowns are incredibly strong and, with proper care, they can potentially last a lifetime. However, dental crowns can also fall off due to various reasons. While a chipped or broken crown doesn’t necessarily constitute a dental emergency, in some cases, a loose crown may be indicative of a dental emergency. Below, we discuss how dental crowns can be broken and what to do if you have a chipped or broken crown.
What is a dental crown? What are dental crowns made of?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap attached to an existing tooth. It covers or “caps” the tooth above the gum line to restore its normal appearance and functionality. In some cases, a dental crown may be attached after a root canal to protect the weakened tooth. Dental crowns are often used to restore a weak or damaged tooth if a filling is deemed insufficient. Dental crowns may be made of metallic materials, gold, silver amalgam, or porcelain. However, in recent years, porcelain crowns have become the most common because they look like natural teeth.
Why does a dental crown fall out or become damaged?
Dental crowns are extremely strong and can withstand immense bite force, so they won’t typically break. However, the normal wear and tear over multiple years can make them break, crack, or get damaged. Your dental crown may be chipped or broken due to dental injuries, accidents, trauma, biting on something hard, or underlying dental decay. However, your crown may fall out after it has run its course, which may happen after 10 to 15 years, the average lifespan of a dental crown. Determining why your crown is loose is essential to the treatment.
What to do if your dental crown is loose or cracked?
If your dental crown is loose or broken, you’ll realize it immediately. In some cases, if the dental crown crack is minor, you won’t experience any discomfort. However, even if the dental crown is intact and doesn’t cause any pain, you must contact the dentist immediately and inform them about the accident. Inform the dentist about how the accident happened, how your tooth feels, and whether the crown is loose, broken, or if it has fallen out. The dentist will inform you about the immediate actions to take and ask you to schedule an appointment.
The following is an overview of the steps to take when you have a loose dental crown:
- If the tooth crown fell off, locate the dental crown and keep it safe within an airtight container. If the dental crown is in your mouth, avoid biting down on it and remove all the fragments.
- If your tooth is sensitive, place a sugar-free gum around the tooth or apply a coating of dental cement. This will keep the tooth safe until your appointment.
- If your dental crown is intact, you can reattach it to your tooth using dental cement. Paint the inside of the dental crown with dental cement and seat it back on your tooth. Bite down on a gauze for about 5 minutes to harden the cement.
How do dentists deal with broken crowns?
During your appointment, your dentist will examine the dental crown and run tests to determine the condition of your tooth.
- If your tooth is healthy and the dental crown is also intact, i.e., if the dental crown simply came loose because of the dental cement, the dentist will fasten the crown again. In this case, the dentist will use dental cement to fix the crown back in place.
- If your tooth is healthy but the dental crown is damaged, the dentist may provide a tooth crown replacement. They’ll discuss your dental crown material options, such as porcelain, gold, and silver amalgam, and recommend the ideal material for you. The tooth will be prepared, the dentist will take impressions, provide a temporary crown, and you’ll receive the dental crown in the next session.
- If your dental crown fell out due to underlying gum disease or dental decay, the dentist will have to address the underlying issues. In some cases, a tooth crown falls out because of bacterial decay underneath. In this case, the dentist may have to perform a root canal and provide another tooth crown. In rare cases, the affected tooth may have to be removed completely.
Can a loose dental crown be repaired?
In most cases, loose dental crowns can be repaired and fixed to the teeth again. However, this is only possible if the dental crown came off because of failed dental cement. The dental crown must be in immaculate condition, and the underlying tooth must also be safe and healthy. In this case, the dentist will use dental cement to fasten the tooth in place again.
My crown is loose. Should I pull it out?
No. You must never remove the crown on your own. If the crown is loose, the dentist will remove it carefully, determine if it’s healthy, and refasten it to your tooth or provide a tooth crown replacement. If you remove the crown on your own, you may damage the underlying tooth.
Schedule your loose dental crown appointment today.
URBN Dental is one of the most reliable dental clinics for tooth restorations in Houston, TX. If you have a loose dental crown, our dentists will examine your teeth and dental crowns to determine if you need a tooth crown replacement. For more information, please schedule your appointment at our dental clinics in Uptown or Midtown Houston, TX.