Dental crowns are used to repair and strengthen teeth that have been damaged, weakened, or decayed. These tooth-like caps fit over the top of a tooth to improve its shape, size, appearance, and function. However, despite their strength, dental crowns can also break or chip due to various reasons. In this blog post, We will discuss what causes a broken tooth crown and the treatment options available.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a protective covering that is custom-fit to cover the visible portion of the tooth, from the chewing surface to the gum line. Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal, or a combination of these.
The primary benefit of a dental crown is that it can effectively restore the function and aesthetics of a broken or damaged tooth. It provides strength and stability to a weakened tooth, enabling it to withstand the pressures of biting and chewing.
Furthermore, a dental crown can improve the appearance of a discolored or misshapen tooth, enhancing an individual’s smile and boosting their self-confidence.
- Protect a weak tooth from breaking
- Restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- Cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t much of the tooth left.
- Hold a dental bridge in place.
- Cover a dental implant.
- For cosmetic reasons
Causes of a Broken Tooth Crown
Although dental crowns are designed to be strong and durable, they can still break or chip due to various reasons. The most common causes of a broken tooth crown include:
- Biting down on hard foods or objects like ice or popcorn kernels.
- Tooth decay or infection that weakens the underlying tooth structure and causes it to break.
- Wearing down of the dental crown due to grinding and clenching of teeth.
- Damage caused by an accident, such as a fall or blow to the face.
Symptoms Associated with a Broken Tooth Crown
A broken tooth crown may symptoms like:
- A visible chip, crack, or fracture in the dental crown.
- Sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages.
- Pain when chewing or biting down on hard foods.
- Swelling, redness, bleeding, and tenderness in the surrounding gums.
- Bad breath is caused by trapped food particles and bacteria.
If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your dentist for diagnosis and treatment.
Why Shouldn’t You Ignore a Broken Tooth Crown?
If you have a broken tooth crown, seek treatment from your dentist right away. If left untreated, the underlying tooth structure can become further damaged due to decay or infection.
Moreover, food debris and bacteria could get trapped in the gap between the broken tooth crown and the gum line, leading to gum disease or an abscess.
Is a Broken Tooth Crown a Dental Emergency?
A broken tooth crown may not constitute an emergency and can be treated during a regular dental visit. However, if the broken tooth crown is accompanied by severe pain, swelling, or bleeding, then it’s best to seek emergency dental care.
Your dentist will examine your mouth and take X-rays to determine the cause of the breakage and recommend treatment options accordingly.
Treatments for a Broken Tooth Crown
Your dentist will decide to repair or replace your broken tooth crown, depending on the severity of the damage.
- Dental bonding: If the breakage is minimal, your dentist may repair the broken tooth crown using a specific porcelain repair kit. This kit contains a composite material that can be bonded to the crown to repair the chipped crown with exposed metal. The composite resin used in the repair is the same material used in dental bonding.
- Crown replacement: If the breakage is more severe, your dentist may recommend replacing the crown. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a lab to create a new crown. Once the new crown is ready, it can be bonded to your tooth during a follow-up visit.
If the tooth underneath the crown is damaged, your dentist may recommend:
- Root canal treatment: It is used to remove the infected pulp and nerve tissue from inside your tooth. A new crown will be placed over the root canal once it’s completed to protect the tooth structure and restore its function.
- Tooth extraction: If a root canal is not possible, your dentist may advise extracting the affected tooth and replacing it with a dental bridge or implant.
Prevention and Maintenance of Crowns
The best way to prevent broken tooth crowns is to practice good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush twice daily, floss once a day, and visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. This will help keep your teeth healthy and strong.
In addition, you should avoid biting on hard food or objects, such as pen caps or ice. This can cause your crown to crack or break. Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth at night to protect your teeth and crowns.
If your crown is loose or broken, contact your dentist as soon as possible for an appointment. The sooner the issue is addressed, the less likely it is that more serious damage will occur.
Broken Crown Tooth – Conclusion
A broken crown tooth can occur for a variety of reasons, such as biting on hard objects, teeth grinding, or an accident. It’s important to seek treatment from your dentist as soon as you notice any symptoms, such as a visible crack or chip, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, or pain when chewing.
Ignoring a broken tooth crown can lead to further damage to the underlying tooth structure and put you at risk for gum disease or an abscess.
Your dentist can recommend the best treatment option for your particular case, which may include bonding, crown replacement, root canal treatment, or extraction.
Be sure to brush twice daily, floss once a day, and visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. Additionally, avoid biting on hard food or objects, and use a night guard if you grind your teeth at night. Taking these steps can help keep your teeth healthy and strong.