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Damaged Dental Crowns: How to Protect Your Investment

 

If you have a large cavity, a fractured tooth, or an infected pulp, a dental crown can restore your function and your oral health. These custom-made restorations are durable and resilient, but they may not last forever. On average, a dental crown can last approximately 20 years. However, with modern materials and proper maintenance, these restorations can often last much longer, even upwards of 30 years. There are several factors that contribute to the lifespan of your dental crown. Certain habits and behaviours can damage your restoration and lead to further oral health issues. Here, Dr. VandenBrink will discuss some of the common causes of damaged crowns and explain how to preserve your smile for many years to come.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a restoration designed to fit over the tooth structure, providing protection, strength, and support. Although crowns can be made from a variety of materials, most patients choose a tooth-coloured option for a more natural appearance. At Glenora Dental, we offer same-day ceramic crowns, which we can craft in our office with E4D technology.

To place a crown, Dr. VandenBrink will prepare the affected tooth. This involves removing small amounts of natural tooth structure to make room for your new restoration. Once the tooth is prepared, we will take digital impressions of your mouth. These images will be uploaded to our in-office milling machine, where your dental crown will be fabricated. Once complete, Dr. VandenBrink will try in your new restoration and bond it into place. This process can be completed in about two hours at our office.

Symptoms of a damaged crown

It may not always be obvious if a dental crown becomes damaged. You might:

  • Notice an increase in temperature sensitivity.
  • See a chip, hole, or crack in your restoration while cleaning your teeth.
  • Feel a rough or jagged texture in the area of your crown.
  • Suddenly notice that your teeth feel misaligned.
  • Develop a toothache.

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, it is a good idea to schedule a consultation right away. It is also important to attend routine dental visits so Dr. VandenBrink can monitor the health of your restorations.

Common causes of damaged dental crowns

There are several reasons why a dental crown may become damaged. The most common causes include:

  • Tooth decay: While a crown is impervious to cavities, the natural tooth structure underneath is not. If decay begins to form under your crown, the restoration may become dislodged.
  • Malocclusion: If your bite forces are not evenly spaced across the dental arch, excessive pressure can cause a dental crown to shift, crack, or chip.
  • Bruxism: Teeth grinding or clenching not only leads to the erosion of natural teeth, but it can also wear down restorations.
  • Trauma: If you are involved in an injury, the forces sustained could potentially damage your dental crown.
  • Bad habits: Although it can be temping, you should never use your crown (or your natural teeth) as tools. Therefore, you should avoid chewing on pens, pencils, fingernails, ice, or any other hard object that could cause damage.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Patients who do not brush and floss properly significantly increase their risk for tooth decay.

Fortunately, caring for dental crowns isn’t all that different from taking care of your natural teeth. Our team can help you develop a hygiene regimen that will effectively meet your needs.

Contact Glenora Dental

If you suspect that you have a damaged dental crown, schedule an appointment at our Edmonton, AB practice. Contact us online or call our office at (780) 452-5700.