Breaking a crown certainly can be disturbing. Fortunately, a broken crown is generally not a dental emergency. Knowing what to do if your crown breaks can calm your nerves and help you resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
What should you do if your crown breaks?
If your dental crown breaks--whether it's developed a crack, chip, or the dental crown has fallen off entirely--your first course of action should be to contact your restorative dentist. Explain the situation and take the first available appointment. Your restorative dentist will know what to do and how to repair your tooth.
What should do if the break is painful?
A broken crown may be painful in a variety of ways.
- Painful jagged edge. In the case of a crown that has a jagged edge, you may be at risk for scraping your lip, cheek or tongue on the rough part of your tooth. You can protect the softer tissues in your mouth by smearing dental wax over the rough part of your crown.
- Temperature sensitivity. Your exposed tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold drinks. If this is the case, smear the dental wax over the exposed tooth. Dental wax will act as a buffer between your tooth and foods or beverages.
- Extreme pain. If the tooth beneath your dental crown is also damaged, you may experience more severe pain. If this is the case, call your restorative dentist office and ask to be seen more quickly.
How can you prevent this kind of problem from happening again in the future?
You can prevent crown breakages in the future by doing the following:
- See your dentist as often as recommended. Your dentist may recommend visits every year or every six months. Keep up with your dental appointments as often as recommended.
- Never use your teeth in the place of scissors, nail clippers or bottle openers. Dental crowns are not meant to tear or chew anything that isn't food.
- Wear your mouth guard if you grind your teeth. Grinding your teeth can crack your dental crown. Wearing your mouth guard as recommended by your dentist will protect your dental crown.
- Never chew ice cubes or hard candy. Chewing ice cubes and hard candy can cause your teeth to crack.
For more information about what to do if your crown breaks, and for information about how to protect your crown in the future, contact your restorative dentist. He or she can answer your questions and make recommendations as needed.