damaged dental crown being restored

Dealing with a Damaged Dental Crown

With proper care, a well-made dental crown can last for years. However, it’s not impossible for it to become damaged. Here’s what you need to know if your dental crown breaks.


What are dental crowns used for?

Crowns are often placed over damaged teeth to restore their, strength, appearance and function. A tooth that’s too damaged to be fixed with a filling will typically need to be covered with a dental crown. They can be made of a variety of materials including ceramic, resin and even gold. Each material has its pros and cons, but they’re all subject to “wear and tear” over time.


How do dental crowns become damaged?

Just like regular teeth, crowns are vulnerable to impact and to long-term decay caused by poor oral hygiene. Other issues such as teeth grinding can also cause a crown to break. However, normal wear and tear will eventually cause all crowns to degrade even if they’re properly cared for.


How to deal with a chipped or cracked crown

Here’s what to do if you realize you’ve cracked or chipped a crown:

  1. Take stock. Check if there are missing pieces or if the whole crown is loose. It’s usually not recommended to pull it off unless there’s a risk it could be swallowed.

  2. Call your dentist. In some cases, a broken crown requires immediate intervention.

  3. Clean the tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm, salty water to minimize any inflammation, which could complicate the situation.

Keep in mind that the area will likely be more sensitive than usual until the crown is fixed or replaced, depending on the crown’s material and the severity of the damage.


How to deal with a crown that’s fallen off

If your dental crown falls off entirely, make sure to keep it in a clean container. If you can’t find the crown, you may have swallowed it. If this is the case, you’ll need to get examined to ensure it hasn’t gone down the wrong pipe. Dental crowns can get lodged in airways without causing severe symptoms until sometimes months later, at which point serious complications might arise.


While you wait for your crown to be replaced or reattached, avoid eating sweet or chewy foods on the side of the missing restoration.


Cosmetic dentistry professionals in Red Deer

At Parkland Mall Dental Centre, we provide friendly and caring dentistry services. From routine exams to cleanings to dental surgery and pediatric dentistry, we do it all. Contact us today to find out more about us or make an appointment.