Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Broken Crown

When you realize something is wrong with one or more of your teeth, it’s natural to feel worried or afraid. This is especially true if what is supposed to be a permanent crown is broken, revealing the damaged tooth below.  

At Wedgewood Dental with offices in Rolla and Salem, Missouri, Linda K. Westmoreland, DDS, has years of experience helping patients look and feel their best with our comprehensive line of cosmetic and general dentistry services, including crowns!

If you’re experiencing a broken crown, read on to learn why you shouldn’t ignore it, and how we can help! 

What is a crown?

A dental crown, or “cap,” is a type of dental restoration used to surround and cover a damaged tooth above the gum line. Crowns are used when the natural tooth is damaged to the extent that a filling can’t restore function, but the roots of the tooth are in good shape.

Dental crowns can also be used to hold dental bridges in place, cover worn or misshapen teeth, cover a dental implant, or make cosmetic modifications. There are different types of crowns available, and if Dr. Westmoreland determines a crown is right for you, she’ll recommend the right type for your unique needs. 

Why shouldn’t I ignore a broken crown?

Dental crowns protect the damaged tooth and roots they cover. When they break, the tooth and roots are left exposed. As such, you may experience sensitivity to hot or cool liquids or foods while you wait for the repair.

It’s important to seek dental attention and not ignore a broken crown if you want to avoid unwanted consequences. If your crown was put in place because of extensive decay, not repairing a crown will lead to the decay continuing. 

Even if your crown was put in place for another reason, the loss of the crown allows bacteria to leak in and decay what remains of your natural tooth. The result could be a larger cavity, an abscess or infection, damage to the root, and the possible loss of your tooth. 

What should I do if I have a broken crown?

Crowns are usually fairly permanent, with different types of crowns lasting anywhere from 5-15 years. But over time they can become loose, get broken, or fall out. If this happens to you, it’s important to schedule a dental appointment as quickly as possible. 

If you realize a crown is coming loose, try to catch it to avoid swallowing it. When a crown falls out without damage, Dr. Westmoreland can sometimes re-use it, so be sure to save it and bring it in with you to your appointment. 

While you wait to see Dr. Westmoreland, you can use denture cream or a small amount of toothpaste to temporarily hold the crown in place and protect your underlying tooth. It’s important to remember not to bite down hard or chew on the side with the broken crown while you wait for your appointment. 

If you have a broken crown or would like more information about dental crowns, contact the Wedgewood Dental office nearest you or book an appointment online now!

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