A broken dental crown can be scary for some, but there is no reason to panic. There are several ways to solve the problem.
Your options to fix a broken dental crown can include the following:
- Bonding tooth-colored resin to the broken crown
- Re cementing the crown if there is no damage
- Replacement with a new crown
- Tooth Extraction and replacement with a dental implant
Ultimately, you will need to see a dentist to fix a broken crown permanently.
A crown may get damaged in several different ways. This will include:
- Trauma to the face
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Biting down on something hard
- General wear and tear
Most crowns last 10 or 15 years before needing to be replaced, but they can break down before that time.
How Much Damage Is There To Your Dental Crown?
The type of damage your crown has may affect whether it can be repaired or will need replacement. Your dentist will also evaluate if there is any damage to the surrounding teeth.
Dental crown damage falls into one of these categories:
- Cracked: A major vertical or horizontal crack on a crown should typically be readily identifiable upon examination.
- Hairline fracture: This would show as an extremely thin crack, and it may be an easy repair.
- Chipped: A small or large piece of the dental crown has broken off.
- Broken: The crown may be shattered or in one piece, but it’s falling off and no longer functioning as it should.
What to Do Before You See a Dentist About Broken Dental Crowns?
Broken dental crowns are typically not a dental emergency by themselves. Unless it’s left a rough edge on the tooth that could cut your tongue or cheeks, or it is in a cosmetic area.
Otherwise, you should manage the situation yourself until you can get into the dentist.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do:
- The first is to assess how much damage there is and determine if the crown is still on or has fallen off, which you can do by looking in a mirror. When examining the dental crown, run your finger along the tooth to check if it does have jagged edges.
- If the crown is not jagged but is not securely attached, you need to pull it off to not swallow it.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any tiny crown fragments that may still be in your mouth. Next, you can temporarily reattach the crown if it appears to be intact.
- Before reattaching it, gently clean the crown inside and out with toothpaste and brush to remove any food debris or old cement. Next, place a small dab of toothpaste or temporary tooth cement on the crown where it will be reattached and reattach it. It is crucial to line the crown up properly so as not to cause damage to surrounding teeth.
- Call your dentist and let them know whether you have reattached it or not. Make your appointment to get the crown fixed properly.
Below are the options your dentist will present to you to fix your broken dental crown.
Tooth bonding can be used to do minor repairs to restore a broken dental crown. For example, if only a hairline fracture is present, dental bonding can be done as an alternative to a full dental crown replacement.
Dental bonding is a fast, painless procedure in which the dentist applies a tooth color-matched composite to the crown, molds it to repair the damage then cures the material using a specialized UV light.
The dentist may determine that the crown is too badly damaged. In this case, your dentist will first remove the broken crown and begin the process of fabricating a new one for your smile.
To remove the old crown, the dentist may use local anesthesia to limit discomfort.
Then the dentist may either cut a small hole in the crown to provide leverage for breaking the cement seal and lift the crown off or cut the crown into sections and remove each piece one at a time.
Next, they will clean the tooth to remove debris and possibly tooth decay or even recommend root canal treatment if there is significant tooth decay.
Then the dentist makes an impression of your teeth for fabricating the new crown.
Until it is ready, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown.
Recement the Crown
If you still have the crown and it has not been damaged, the dentist can also re-cement it to your tooth after cleaning it and examining it.
They would likely need to remove old cement from either your tooth or the old crown. Your dentist will ensure proper fit at this time and also make sure there is no tooth decay. If it all looks good, they will re-cement your crown back in place—the easiest of all the fixes for your dental crown.
In extreme cases, the crowned tooth may have too much tooth decay, or the structure is compromised by trauma to attach a new crown. In this case, the entire tooth needs to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant.
The dental implant procedure will require anesthesia, either local or general, before the gums receive a small cut to receive the titanium post that’s embedded into the jaw to serve as the tooth root.
On top of that will be an abutment and the restoration (crown), which looks and chews like a normal tooth.
A broken dental crown can generally be fixed quite easily. If the dental crown can not be fixed your dentist will recommend a replacement. This can be either as a new crown or with a dental implant. If you are experiencing a damaged or loose dental crown, call your dentist today.
Regain confidence in your smile with the help of Marielaina Perrone DDS!
Our goal is to help our patients give them their best smile yet. Dr. Perrone and her cosmetic dental team are proud to offer comprehensive dental care, including routine dental cleanings as well as the cosmetic and restorative procedures mentioned above.
If you are ready for a smile makeover, contact Marielaina Perrone DDS at (702) 458-2929 to schedule a no cost cosmetic consultation appointment. We cannot wait to help you with your state of the art smile makeover to create the smile of your dreams in Summerlin, Henderson, and Las Vegas, NV.