Dental crowns are an essential tool for restoring and protecting teeth that have become damaged. It’s essentially a covering or a cap that is placed over the tooth. It protects the tooth from further damage and restores its appearance. Depending on what the tooth crown is made from, others may not even be able to tell that it isn’t your natural tooth. Dental crowns can be made from metal, resin, porcelain fused to metal, or entirely made from porcelain or ceramic. The ability of white tooth crowns to blend in with the rest of the teeth can be especially comforting if you need a dental crown on your front tooth.


Tooth crowns are made to be durable. After all, you use your teeth every day for talking and chewing food. How durable they are will depend on what they’re made from. Metal crowns are the most durable, whereas porcelain, ceramic, and resin crowns are less so. Over time, any crown may become worn enough that it breaks. If you end up with a broken crown, it’s very important that you have it addressed by your dentist as soon as possible. Broken crowns leave your tooth vulnerable to damage and decay. If it’s bad enough, what remains of your natural tooth may have to be removed entirely and replaced with a dental implant.


How Do Dental Crowns Crack?


There are a few different ways to wind up with a broken crown, and some of them are through no fault of your own. Accidents happen, after all. You could slip and fall in a way that impacts your teeth and breaks or cracks your tooth’s crown. Other causes of cracked crowns come down to personal habits that you may not intentionally be engaging in. After all, a lot of us grind or clench our teeth without even realizing it. That creates a lot of pressure on the teeth and any crown you may have, which can lead to it cracking over time. Wearing a mouthguard at night can help with that, though even general wear and tear can lead to a damaged dental crown over time. On the other hand, if you’re in the habit of using your teeth as tools, you could end up with a broken crown because you’re biting down on something hard and exerting repeated unnecessary pressure on them.


How to Care for a Broken or Chipped Crown


So if you’ve ended up with a broken or chipped crown, what do you do next? The first thing to do is to carefully examine the damaged area, both the crown and tooth, if any is visible. Are there any pieces missing? How loose is the crown? If it’s loose enough that you’re concerned that it could come off, gently remove it so you don’t accidentally swallow it. Rinse your mouth with warm water and use gauze to apply pressure if you’re bleeding. Contact your dentist. Your dentist can answer questions you may have, help you determine how urgently you need to be seen, and decide whether or not they can help you or if you need to see an emergency dentist. You should expect to experience some sensitivity in the meantime.


Broken or chipped crowns can be painful and troublesome to deal with. The good news is that you don’t have to just sit and suffer from a damaged crown. Let Sierra Dental Practice help you. We can put in a temporary dental crown while you wait to get your new permanent crown made. Once it’s made, we’ll get your brand new permanent crown installed so you’ll be all good to go. Just give us a call so we can get you all set up!