What to Do About a Cracked Dental Crown

Posted on: 21 January 2020

A cracked tooth can often be remedied with a dental crown. But sometimes lightning can strike twice in the same spot, and that spot is your tooth. What happens when the crown itself becomes cracked? It could be the result of an unfortunate accident, but whatever caused the issue, what do you need to do to deal with a cracked crown?

Superficial or Serious Damage

Obviously you need to make an urgent appointment with a dentist who repairs dental crowns in your area. Just how urgent the appointment needs to be depends on the severity of the crack. Sometimes the issue might be superficial and even largely cosmetic, and sometimes it can indicate damage to the underlying tooth.

The Material of the Crown

The precise nature of any repairs can largely depend on the material your crown was originally made from. Resin crowns might need an entire replacement, whereas a porcelain crown can often be repaired. When porcelain has been fused to metal, it might be that only the porcelain portion of the crown needs attention. A crown that is entirely metal is unlikely to crack.

An Increase in Sensitivity

You might well feel the crack as it occurs. If the underlying tooth has been affected, you could feel an immediate increase in sensitivity. Be careful about the food and drink you consume, as temperature extremes can aggravate this sensitivity. 

Removing the Crown

If the crack in your dental crown has in fact dislodged the crown from the underlying tooth, you might be able to remove it with your fingers. Be very cautious when doing this. Do not tug the crown, and only remove it if it comes away easily. This is to prevent it from coming away of its own accord and being swallowed. If you're able to remove it, place the crown in a suitable container and bring it to your dentist.

What Your Dentist Will Do

Your dentist will examine the crown and determine whether it can be repaired or if an entire replacement is warranted. They will also need to be sure that the nature of the injury (which caused the crack in the first place) has not compromised the underlying tooth. 

It might feel like a stroke of bad luck to have a cracked dental crown, since that tooth has already needed repairs in the past. But it's something that needs to be attended to rather promptly, and you need to know how to handle the situation in the interim.