Understanding What to do If You Have a Broken Dental Crown

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dental crown is essentially a cap for a damaged, worn or misshapen tooth. It offers protection and may increase the lifespan of that tooth. There are a few different materials dentists use to make crowns. They are strong and can last many years. Sometimes accidents happen and your crown may come off or break. If this happens, it’s best to call your emergency dentist immediately. At Boon Dental we are available 24/7 to help with all your dental emergencies. 

In this article, we will discuss what to do if you have a broken dental crown. We will look at both short and long-term solutions. 

Why has my dental crown broken?

Crowns are made from strong materials. However, they usually won’t last a lifetime. After years of wear and tear, they may come loose and fall out. They can also come out during accidents or from biting down on a hard object. 

If you can, try to find your crown and take it to your dentist. Sometimes this isn’t possible, especially if you haven’t realised your crown has broken or fallen out. However, most of the time you will feel it, as there might be some discomfort or sensitivity from the exposed tooth below. 

What to do if you have a broken dental crown

Call your dentist immediately to book an appointment. It is important to see your dentist as quickly as possible to avoid further damaging the exposed tooth. If you aren’t able to see your dentist immediately, they will probably tell you to keep your mouth as clean as possible and avoid eating on that side. You can clean your mouth with warm salty water. 

If the crown has come off in one piece it may be possible to slip it back on. Make sure the area is clean, apply a little dental adhesive to the crown and stick it back on. You can find dental adhesive at your local pharmacy. This is only a temporary solution; you will still need to see your dentist. 

What will the dentist do?

A broken dental crown should be fixed as soon as possible. This is because the tooth it covers will usually be decayed or damaged. Leaving it exposed can cause further damage and impact your oral health. It could even lead to tooth loss. It is usually uncomfortable and not aesthetically pleasing so patients generally want it fixed right away. 

Your dentist will ask if you have the original crown. They will clean it thoroughly and determine whether it can be reused. This is the best-case scenario as you won’t have to wait for a replacement to be made. If it cannot be salvaged, you will need a new one. Your dentist will give you a temporary crown while the new one is being made. 

Once the permanent crown is ready, you will go back to your dentist to have it fixed in place. This will be much like the first time you had it done. There isn’t much downtime after a dental crown procedure. The main thing is to avoid sticky/chewy food for the first 24 hours. You need to give the dental adhesive time to completely dry before it can function as a normal tooth. After a day or two, you should be back to normal. 

How to maintain your dental crown?

There are steps you can take to avoid a broken dental crown. Although as we’ve seen, sometimes it is unavoidable. Here are some steps you can take to increase the longevity of your crown:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene – brush twice a day for two full minutes and floss once a day. You can also use a fluoride-based mouthwash. 
  • Use fluoride-based toothpaste – fluoride strengthens your teeth. 
  • Avoid a high sugar diet – sugar is not good for your teeth; it can increase decay. 
  • Avoid chewing hard food – or chew on the other side of your mouth if you’re eating something particularly tough. 

Wrapping up

Dental emergencies happen, it’s best to remain calm and call your dentist immediately. A broken dental crown can lead to discomfort and sensitivity. It is best to get it fixed right away. At Boon Dental, our emergency dentists are highly trained and use only the best technology. Your comfort is our main priority. If you have any concerns about your teeth, give us a call