A dental crown is a custom-made covering placed on the existing tooth with the help of an adhesive. The purpose of placing a crown is to cover the tooth, restore its original shape and strength, and improve its appearance.
Today, with advancements in dental technology, a dental crown looks very similar to a regular tooth. So, its advantages are both functional and cosmetic. Our teeth have to constantly deal with pressure and bacteria, so they can get chipped, decayed, or even broken. In many such cases, the teeth require a dental crown.
However, you may need to visit the emergency in case of severe injury to the tooth. Read on to know more about what happens when a crown breaks and what is considered a dental emergency.
How Does a Crown Break?
As crowns are made of solid material, they usually don’t break on their own. However, they may wear down over a period of time.
Here are some instances in which a crown might break:
- A blow to the face
- A fall
- Biting on something hard
- Severe teeth grinding
While accidents cannot be avoided, it is better not to open snack bags or bottle caps with your teeth as it may lead to a chipped or broken crown.
What If a Crown Breaks?
A dental crown may last a lifetime, but sometimes they can break too, but thankfully it is not common. In fact, crowns made with porcelain can chip or break frequently. If the tooth crown is broken or there is too much chipping, the crown needs to be replaced. The dentist will first prepare your tooth for getting a new crown. They may either file the tooth or add some filling material to build upon the tooth and make it ready for restoration. Next, they put in a temporary crown while the new one is prepared.
Why Shouldn’t You Ignore a Broken Crown?
Before understanding why you should seek immediate help in case of a broken crown, let us first look at the function that it serves.
Crowns protect teeth damaged by an injury or decay. In the case of a root canal procedure, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed, and the tooth is restored using a crown. Crowns also cover the teeth in case of dental implants. As they serve such an important function, it is good to seek timely treatment in case of damage to the crown. If you ignore a broken crown, it may cause further problems.
Once the crown is broken, your tooth gets exposed to bacteria from food and drinks. It may cause further damage, and food trapped inside the tooth can lead to bad breath. Moreover, once the crown is gone, if there is any living pulp in the tooth, it can get painful. So, basically, your crown performs the function of a tooth, and in its absence, you can find it difficult to chew food or even speak clearly. If you ignore a broken crown, the remaining tooth might decay further and can eventually lead to bone loss.
Is a Broken Crown a Dental Emergency?
Not all cases of broken crowns qualify as a dental emergency. You need emergency dental care if the edges of the broken crown are sharp. In this case, immediate care is required to prevent accidentally cutting the tongue or cheeks. However, if the edges of the broken crown are smooth, you can wait for a few days to get it repaired.
What Should I Do If I Have a Broken Crown?
If your dental crown is broken, it is best to call your dentist immediately. Depending upon your condition, the dentist will determine how soon you should get the treatment. If the broken crown is not jagged, you can wait a day or two before seeking medical attention.
Your tooth might be sensitive to liquids and hot and cold foods until the crown is repaired. You should examine the tooth in the mirror and see if there are any missing pieces. If the crown is loose, you can try to remove it so that you don’t ingest it. After removing the crown, it is good to rinse your mouth with warm salty water.
The dentist will most likely repair the broken crown if it has not been damaged significantly. The repairing process involves reshaping and smoothening the crown. Wondering when will the broken crown be replaced with a new one? If the crack in the crown is severe, your dentist will suggest getting a new crown.
While accidents cannot be controlled, the best way to avoid a broken crown is to go for routine dental visits and practise good dental hygiene and avoid biting very hard foods.
However, if you break a crown, then it should not be ignored. Book an appointment with one of the best dental clinics in Australia. The Dental Family Beaumaris has been in service for more than 30 years and is committed to the oral health of each member of the community, regardless of age.