What Should I Do When My Dental Crown Breaks?
August 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

You bite into a piece of peanut brittle and hear a loud crack. A piece of a dental crown falls into your hand, leaving a less than perfect dental crownslooking tooth in the front of your mouth. What can you do with this urgent dental matter?

General and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Paul Culver, urges you to call his office right away for advice on what do do with your fractured restoration. Dr. Culver and his team are known for quick and compassionate care--both routine and urgent.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown covers remaining healthy tooth structure after injury, root canal therapy or extensive dental fillings. The crown is custom-made according to oral impressions and Dr. Culver's instructions to the dental lab. The dentist permanently bonds the new crown in place and adjusts its fit and bite. You care for your new crown with daily flossing and twice-daily brushing, just as you do with natural teeth. Crowns also anchor fixed bridgework to span gaps created by one or more missing teeth in a row.

What to Do

If possible, save the pieces of your dental crown and any tooth fragments, too. Dental crowns are fabricated from very durable materials such as gold, porcelain with zirconia and porcelain fused to metal. However, over time, normal wear and tear can deteriorate your crown (Normal "lifespan" is 5 to 15 years according to the Cleveland Clinic.) Plus, biting into hard foods or of course, a blow to the mouth, may dislodge or break any restoration regardless of its age.

Next, call Dr. Culver's office. Depending on your symptoms and events leading up to losing the crown, he may want to see you right away. Less urgent situations may wait until the next day. In the meantime, these measures provide comfort:

  1. Take over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain.
  2. Avoid hot or cold foods or beverages as the damaged tooth may be temperature sensitive.
  3. Place orthodontic wax, available at your local drugstore, over any jagged surfaces as needed.

When your Brookfield dentist examines your tooth, he may discover that only the crown is damaged and may be repaired or replaced. However, sometimes a crown dislodges because the underlying tooth has decayed. In that case, the dentist addresses the decay issue before replacing the crown.

How are Your Teeth?

The best way to avoid deterioration of crowns and other restorations is semi-annual exams and cleanings with Dr. Culver. Along with checking your mouth for oral cancer, gum disease, and dental decay, Dr. Culver carefully inspects the condition of your dental crowns, bridges, partials, dental implants, fillings, veneers and other restorative and cosmetic work. Preventive dentistry can't guarantee you won't lose a crown or filling, but it definitely helps keep teeth and gums healthy.

If you experience a sudden oral health issue, call Dr. Culver's office in Brookfield, WI right away at (262) 782-1655 to receive the help you deserve.