Temporary Crown Chipped: Causes & What to Do

If you are getting a dental crown, your dentist will place a temporary crown on the prepared tooth until your permanent crown is ready. The temporary crown will protect the prepared tooth from damage. Temporary crowns are not durable and can chip or break easily if not treated with proper care. If your temporary crown is chipped or broken, you should contact your dentist right away to prevent further damage. In this blog post, we are going to discuss the possible causes for a chipped temporary crown and what to do if your temporary crown is broken or chipped.

Why Do You Need a Temporary Crown?

The permanent dental crown is used to strengthen a weak or broken tooth. It also restores the function and appearance of a chipped or broken tooth. The first step in this process is preparing your existing tooth for a permanent crown. During preparation, the dentist reduces the size of the tooth to make room for your future crown.

Once the prepared tooth has been shaped and contoured properly, a temporary crown will be placed on the chipped tooth to protect it from further damage until your new permanent crown is ready. Temporary crowns are usually made from acrylic material or composite. It may take a week or two to make a permanent crown, so you need a temporary crown in this period to protect the prepared tooth and prevent complications.

Benifits & Uses

  • Prevent pain or sensitivity: if the prepared tooth is vital, it may cause pain or sensitivity with hot or cold foods and drinks.
  • Protect the prepared tooth: a temporary crown prevents further damage to the chipped or broken tooth until your new permanent crown is ready.
  • Prevent the movement of surrounding teeth: the surrounding teeth may start to shift positions, which can cause a poor fit of the permanent crown.
  • Restore the chewing function: the temporary crown will protect the prepared tooth from chewing forces and help re-establish your usual chewing pattern.
  • Restore your smile: the temporary crown will restore your teeth appearance and help you smile confidently again until your permanent crown is ready. Learn more about the benefits of a temporary cap for a broken tooth.
A temporary crown
A temporary crown is a tooth cover that is used for a short time until the permanent crown is ready.

Possible Causes for a Chipped Temporary Crown

The temporary crown can quickly become chipped or broken if you don’t treat it with care. Here are possible causes for a chipped temporary crown:

  • Eating hard, crunchy and sticky food: temporary crowns can chip or break when you bite on something hard like ice, popcorn kernels, carrots, or nuts.
  • Teeth grinding: a chipped temporary crown may occur due to high chewing force or teeth grinding. Bruxism can also cause permanent crowns to crack or chip.
  • Trauma: if you fall or hit your mouth while playing sports, the temporary crown may become chipped or broken.
  • Bad oral habits: such as biting off a pen or using your teeth to open a can.
  • Picking your teeth: if you have food debris on the chipped tooth and pick at it with your finger, a temporary crown may chip or break.
  • The crown is high: if the crown is too high, it may chip or break when you bite.

What To Do If Your Temporary Crown is Chipped or Broken?

If you have a chipped temporary crown, you should visit your dentist to have it replaced right away. Call your dentist before your scheduled appointment to see if you can come in earlier. If there’s no problem with the prepared tooth, a new temporary crown may be placed within a few hours of your visit.

If you have a broken or chipped temporary crown and are not able to contact your dentist, please follow these tips:

  • If there is a remnant from the broken crown on the prepared tooth, try to remove it.
  • Try not to chew on the prepared tooth as it may cause damage.
  • If the tooth is vital, it is better to avoid hot or cold foods and drinks to prevent pain or sensitivity.
  • If you have severe pain in your mouth, you should take pain medication as recommended by your dentist.
  • Clean around the prepared tooth to prevent the accumulation of food debris, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

If your permanent crown is chipped, read more about how to repair a chipped crown with exposed metal.

How To Care for Your Crown?

When you have a temporary crown, follow these tips to ensure it lasts long enough until you get a permanent crown:

  • Avoid hard or sticky food: if the prepared tooth is vital, avoid chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, carrots, or nuts until your permanent crown is ready.
  • Choose soft and cooked food for your meals: if you have to chew tough food, do it slowly so that minimal force is generated.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene: brush and floss your teeth as usual. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle brushing motion.
  • Use a nightguard: teeth grinding can damage your teeth and lead to TMJ disorders. It also can break your permanent crown.
  • Don’t postpone your next appointment: temporary crowns are not designed for long-term use. So, visit your dentist on time to get your permanent crown.

Temporary Crown Chipped – Conclusion

A temporary crown is a tooth cover that is used for a short time until the permanent crown is ready. It can help protect your prepared tooth from damage, pain, and sensitivity. However, a temporary crown may chip or break if you eat hard or sticky foods. So, you should take care of your temporary crown to ensure it lasts long enough until your final crown is prepared. If your temporary crown is chipped or broken, it’s best to contact your dentist so that you can get a replacement right away. Have a healthy mouth.

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