Dental crowns are a great way to restore teeth that may have been damaged. However, dental crowns themselves can sometimes become chipped or damaged. If your dental crown gets chipped or damaged, there are steps you can take to restore it. If you’re worried about your dental crown being damaged, there are also some measures you can take to prevent this from happening in the first place.
How Dental Crowns Can Get Chipped
Dental crowns are extremely strong, and are designed to work just like your regular teeth. But, just like your teeth, dental crowns are not indestructible, and can be damaged. The types of things that can damage your crown are many of the same things that can damage your regular teeth. This can include:
- Impacts to the teeth or jaw
- Chewing on ice or other objects
- Biting down on pits, seeds, or unexpected hard objects
- Repeated, extreme temperature changes
Dental crowns also weaken over time. Though they are made from tough substances like metal alloys, they will start to weaken after about 10 to 20 years. Keep in mind that dental crowns are under a lot of daily pressure as you eat and chew. So, over time, it will be easier for your dental crowns to chip. Fortunately, damaged dental crowns can be repaired and replaced by your dentist.
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What to Do if Your Dental Crown Gets Chipped
If your dental crown is chipped or damaged, you might take notice when there’s suddenly a sharp spot on your teeth. This spot might even cut your cheek or tongue. Or, you might notice exactly when a bit of your crown chips off, and are able to keep the dislodged piece. If your dental crown gets chipped, here’s what you should do:
- If you have the piece of your dental crown, clean it and keep it in a plastic bag.
- Call your dentist to make an appointment as soon as possible.
- Go to the drugstore and get dental repair resin to cover the sharp edge of the broken crown.
- Apply the dental repair resin according to the directions on the box.
- Be gentle and extra cautious with your damaged tooth until you can see your dentist.
Whether the damage to your crown is very minor or results in a larger, more noticeable chip, you should call your dentist right away so they can either repair or replace the dental crown.
What Your Dentist Can Do About a Damaged Crown
Dental resin can cover your chipped crown so it doesn’t cut your mouth, and may also help reduce pain and tooth sensitivity, but this isn’t a permanent solution. It’s important to visit your dentist as soon as you can whenever a dental crown is damaged.
Your dentist can help repair or replace your damaged crown in a variety of ways. The best option will depend on how much of your crown has chipped off and if there are any other damages. If only a small portion of your crown has chipped off, your dentist might simply soften the sharp edges. More likely, the dentist will either repair or replace your dental crown. Or, a repair might be temporary until you can make another appointment for a more permanent replacement. A replacement crown will help to prevent further damage, but will also be more expensive than a repair.
How to Prevent Damage to Your Dental Crown
If you have a chipped dental crown or you’re worried about damaging your crown, you might be wondering what measures you can take to keep your crown in great condition. Remember that your dental crown is tough, and it’s designed to handle regular wear and tear, like chewing and speaking. However, a few precautions can make your dental crown last longer.
- Work on bad habits: If you find yourself chewing on ice, biting your fingernails, or opening packages with your teeth, try to work on these habits.
- Use a mouth guard: Night grinding can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. Using a mouth guard can prevent the damage from grinding your teeth.
- Be careful of very hot and cold foods: Temperature extremes can weaken your dental crown. If you’re drinking hot coffee and drinking a cold milkshake at the same time, for example, this can hurt your dental crown.
- Minimize impacts: Use a sports mouth guard when you’re playing impact sports to minimize the damage from potential impacts.
If your dental crown has been cracked or otherwise damaged, contact your dentist right away. If you live in the Las Vegas area, you can make an appointment with an experienced, affordable local dentist online now.