Many people get dental crowns to repair broken or damaged teeth, but what should you do if you need to fix a broken crown? In general, crowns are designed to last 5-15 years, but they aren’t impervious to cracks or breaks. Whether a crown has simply worn down over time, hasn’t been properly taken care of, or has suffered a crack or break from an accident, you might be wondering what the repair process looks like. Will you need to have the total crown replaced, or can it be repaired?
Cracked Crown Symptoms
First, let’s take a look at the different types of damage a crown can get and how you can tell the difference between them. Keep in mind, some damage to crowns is pretty obvious, and you’ll know right away that it’s broken. But, sometimes, you might need some guidance on how to identify if you have a crack. Here’s what to look out for:
- Cracked Crown – Sometimes, a crown can experience a major crack going up, down, or across the body of the crown. These types of cracks will be pretty obvious upon closer inspection.
- Hairline Fractured Crown – If your crown has a small, hairline fracture on it, you might not notice it, even when looking at it. This might be something only your dentist can see.
- Chipped Crown – A chipped crown is when a piece of the crown has broken off. This can happen on any part of the body of the crown and can be small or large.
- Broken Crown – If a large portion of the crown has chipped off, then it is broken and will likely need to be replaced.
You should be able to use a light and mirror to examine your crown to see what type of damage your crown has suffered. If you’ve heard a popping or cracking noise; are experiencing new sensitivity near your crown; or can feel a change in texture over the crown, then take a look and see what’s going on. This can help you get an idea of what to expect when you see your dentist.
If you notice that a piece of your crown or the entire crown itself is loose, and it’s not painful, then consider gently pulling on the crown to see if it can be easily removed. This can help reduce the risk of accidentally swallowing, or worse, choking on your broken crown. Make sure to rinse your mouth out with warm water to make sure there aren’t tiny pieces hanging around.
Can a Cracked Crown Be Repaired?
In general, a cracked or broken crown isn’t an emergency. But, if you are experiencing pain that can’t be resolved with over the counter pain medication, or you have a new and sudden sensitivity in the area, then make an appointment right away. Otherwise, it’s best to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.
A broken crown, especially those with a hairline fracture, can be bonded without needing to have the entire crown replaced. But sometimes you’ll need to get a replacement crown, especially if it is an older crown or is severely damaged. Depending on how the crown was broken, you might have suffered injury to the surrounding teeth. If that’s the case, you might need additional work done beyond fixing the crown.
Having a broken crown isn’t fun, but most of the time, it’s a quick and easy fix. So, if you need to have a crown repaired or replaced, contact our doctors, Dr. Richard Caven, Dr. Shelby Denman, and Dr. Stephen Carpenter, by calling our Caven Dental office in Jacksonville, FL, to schedule a consultation today!