To improve the health, structure, and appearance of a damaged tooth, a dentist will likely give a patient a dental crown. This ceramic cap fits over a tooth and seals into place, providing protection and restoration for a patient’s smile.
Once secured, a crown can remain in place for fifteen or more years with optimal care and maintenance. But the fixture is not indestructible. It can fall off or crack in extraordinary circumstances, which would constitute a dental emergency. Read on to learn more about the durability of dental crowns and what actions you can take if these fixtures break.
What Can Cause a Dental Crown to Dislodge or Break?
The durable material of a dental crown along with the dental cement keeping the fixture sealed to the tooth mean that this treatment can last a long time. With proper care, a dental crown will remain in place for fifteen or more years.
But abnormally high amounts of pressure could cause a crown to break or dislodge. You can chew as you normally would, but biting a hard item, like ice or the end of a pen, could hurt your crown. So you should avoid this whenever possible to preserve your dental work.
Similarly, the act of grinding or clenching teeth, a habit called bruxism, will generate pressure on your smile. The grating of the top teeth against the bottom teeth could crack or dislodge a crown.
What Should I Do If I Damage a Dental Crown?
If your dental crown breaks, contact your dentist as soon as possible. They will likely ask you to come to their office for an emergency dental appointment. Do not take action with your broken crown or the underlying tooth without speaking to your dentist.
Bring your crown with you if you can. The dentist will examine your smile for signs of additional damage when you first arrive. If the crown is still intact, they will place it over your tooth once again and reseal it. If you need a new crown, your dentist can give you a temporary one to keep your tooth safe until a permanent fixture can be constructed.
How Can I Prevent Dental Crown Damage?
You can keep your dental crown intact and avoid further damage to your smile by steering clear of abnormally high pressures. As mentioned, this means you should not bite down on hard-textured items unnecessarily. Your dentist may suggest stress relief tactics for patients with bruxism.
They may also give you a custom-made night guard to wear as you sleep. This appliance can cushion teeth as well as your crown against pressure from bruxism overnight.
You should also practice good oral hygiene. This will remove plaque and other dental dangers from your smile in a timely manner. It will prevent further harm from coming to the affected tooth as well as the surrounding areas of your mouth. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss on a daily basis.