Why a Broken Crown Should Not be Ignored

dental crown to be placed on a tooth

A dental crown is like a protective cap that is placed on a damaged tooth. Although the materials used to make crowns are strong, they can still be broken. It’s important to get your crown fixed if it breaks, otherwise, you could be putting the tooth below at risk. If you have a broken crown, you should call an emergency dentist as soon as possible. 

At Dental on York, we offer extensive emergency dental procedures for your peace of mind. In this article, we discuss why you should never ignore a broken crown and what can cause it to break.

How can a crown break?

Dental crowns are designed to be strong just like your natural teeth, however, they are not invincible. They may fall out after years of wear and tear or break during an accident. Here are some things that may cause your crown to break:

  • Chewing hard objects such as ice
  • Biting your fingernails
  • Using your teeth as a tool (teeth aren’t designed to open bottles)
  • Grinding your teeth aka bruxism

If you want to get long wear out of your crown, then you should try to avoid all the things listed above.

Why you shouldn’t ignore a broken crown

The purpose of a dental crown is to protect the natural tooth and its roots below. When you break a crown, the tooth and its roots are left exposed. This leaves them at risk of further damage. It also leaves the tooth open to bacteria which can rapidly decay the already damaged tooth. If a broken crown is left untreated for too long, you risk losing that tooth altogether. If you break your crown, please contact your dentist immediately.

Is a broken crown a dental emergency?

A broken dental crown does constitute a dental emergency, especially if it is causing you intense pain. It does not always require immediate treatment, however, shouldn’t be left for more than a couple of days. If you can’t see your dentist immediately, you can take steps to look after the area until it can be treated, which we discuss below.

Treating a broken dental crown

If you have a broken dental crown, the first step is to remain calm and call your dentist. If you cannot schedule an appointment straight away, you can follow these simple steps:

  1. Keep your mouth clean and avoid eating on that side- you can clean your mouth with warm salty water. 
  2. Use a piece of clean gauze to stop any bleeding by pressing it gently against the site. 
  3. If you are experiencing pain, you can take over-the-counter pain-relieving medication. 
  4. You can also use a cold compress to relieve the pain and any swelling. Hold it gently against your cheek on the side of the broken crown. 
  5. If your crown has fallen off but is still in one piece you can place it back over the tooth. Make sure the area is clean and use dental adhesive to stick it in place. You can purchase dental adhesive from most pharmacies. 
  6. Stick to soft foods until you can see your dentist.

How to maintain your dental crown?

There are steps you can take to avoid breaking or losing a dental crown:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene – brush twice a day for two full minutes and floss once a day.
  • Use fluoride-based toothpaste – fluoride strengthens your teeth.
  • Avoid a high sugar diet – excessive sugar intake can lead to tooth decay  .
  • Avoid chewing hard food – or chew on the other side of your mouth if you’re eating something hard

Dental on York is here to help

If you have a broken dental crown or any dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to call our Sydney dental clinic. We offer a wide range of emergency dental care services and prioritise patient comfort. 

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