A dental crown is a useful restorative treatment that can strengthen and protect a damaged tooth. The ceramic cap covers a vulnerable tooth, sealing into place with dental cement for long-lasting preservation.
Though durable, a crown is not indestructible. High pressure on the tooth could cause a crown to fall off or break. If this occurs, the underlying tooth could be at risk of further harm.
Knowing what to do before this dental emergency can help you act promptly if it occurs. Read on to learn which actions you should take if you sustain damage to a dental crown.
What to Do If You Damage a Dental Crown
Call Your Dentist Right Away
When your dentist gives you a dental crown, they must remove a small amount of enamel from the affected tooth to make room for the cap. The crown serves as a replacement for this lost enamel and creates a seal to keep the tooth safe. But if the crown becomes loose, this seal breaks, and the tooth can be in danger.
For this reason, you should call your dentist as soon as you can if you hurt your crown. Even if you do not feel pain after this damage to your dental work, plaque and bacteria could still access the vulnerable tooth. You could have a higher risk of tooth decay and other dental problems.
Your dentist will give you instructions over the phone about your unique dental needs related to this issue. They can also give you advice to relieve discomfort in the meantime.
Attend an Emergency Dentist Appointment
Your dentist will likely ask you to attend an emergency dental appointment if you damage a dental crown. If possible, bring the crown in question to this visit. The dentist will examine the crown, the affected tooth, and the surrounding area of the mouth to look for additional signs of damage.
They can treat any issues as needed. Then, if the crown is intact, they can place it back over the tooth and seal it into place. If a new crown is needed, the dentist can give you a temporary crown to fit over the tooth until the permanent one is ready. You will need to make another appointment to return to the dentist’s office to receive your new custom-made crown.
Prevent Further Harm to Your Dental Crown
Once you have the dental crown back in place over your tooth, you will want to take measures to avoid hurting it again. You should steer clear of situations that will put abnormally high pressure on your teeth and dental work to preserve your smile.
For this reason, do not bite down on hard items like ice, fingernails, or the end of a pen. You should also talk to your dentist if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth. This habit could generate pressure that may harm your dental crown.
Practice good oral hygiene too to make sure the surrounding area of the mouth remains healthy and unchanged. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for routine teeth cleanings.