We know that dental crowns are supposed to restore the tooth’s shape, size and appearance when there has been some damage to the tooth, but without proper care and maintenance, they can crack or chip1 too.
Is it common for dental crowns to chip or crack?
A dental crown can be made of metals, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, ceramic or porcelain. Dental crowns do not chip that easily because they are made to be strong2, but it does happen. Crowns can crack or chip when you fall down, grind your teeth, or bite down on something really hard.
The durability of dental crowns is about 5 to 15 years or longer. However, porcelain crowns seem to be more delicate and may need to be replaced more frequently.
Porcelain crowns can chip but if the chip is not that big, it can be repaired with resin that matches the colour of the crown.
At Dental Designs, we use crowns made of sturdy, modern ceramic material that not only has a long track record of success with patients but allows us to conserve more tooth material during the bonding process as well.
What are the signs that a dental crown has chipped or cracked?
If your crown is chipped or cracked, you should know it right away. The tooth will feel jagged and there might be some pain if the natural tooth underneath still has intact nerves and blood supply (if you haven’t had a root canal).
What should you do if you have a chipped dental crown?
You can evaluate your damaged tooth by checking in the mirror. If there are loose pieces, do not attempt to stick them back on your tooth. If the crown is loose, talk to a dentist as soon as possible.
Gently rub your tongue over the injured tooth to feel for jagged edges. If the tooth feels reasonably smooth, your situation is likely not an emergency. Still, it is always advisable to seek help from the dentist when there is a problem with your crown.
If your crown falls off completely, do not attempt to put it back on. Store the crown in a small container or plastic bag and bring it to your dentist.
You should also avoid eating with the tooth that has the chipped crown.
An over-the-counter pain relief medicine like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to manage mild pain. However, if the pain is significant, or if there is tooth sensitivity or significant bleeding, you should seek help from the dentist immediately.
Pain around your dental crown could be a sign of decay around your crown.
Can you fix a chipped dental crown?
Fret not, it is in fact possible to repair a chipped porcelain crown with resin. Experienced dentists can repair porcelain crowns using composite bonding. A composite material like resin can be bonded to the porcelain during this repair process. A composite is a material used in fillings and bonding.
An alternative for small cracks or chipped crowns would be to file the crown to smoothen and polish it. This can either be temporary or permanent depending on how it looks and feels in the end,
However, if the fracture is major, it may be impossible to repair it. In this case, you may want to do a crown replacement.
How can I prevent my dental crown from chipping or breaking?
There are some diets you may want to avoid to protect your dental crowns from chips such as:
- Hard and crunchy foods – such as pretzels, seeds or nuts
- Sticky foods – such as candy
- Chewing on ice
- Raw vegetables
In addition to avoiding certain foods, you may want to avoid using your teeth as tools to open or rip things. These can damage not just your crown but also your natural teeth.
Remember to brush and floss regularly so your dental crown lasts longer. Schedule a regular appointment about once every six months with your dentist for dental cleanings and checkups.
Find out more about Dental Crown with Dental Design today!
- Pjetursson BE, Valente NA, Strasding M, Zwahlen M, Liu S, Sailer I. A systematic review of the survival and complication rates of zirconia-ceramic and metal-ceramic single crowns. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2018 Oct;29 Suppl 16:199-214. doi: 10.1111/clr.13306. PMID: 30328190.
- Zhang, Y., Chai, H., Lee, J. J.-W., & Lawn, B. R. (2012). Chipping Resistance of Graded Zirconia Ceramics for Dental Crowns. Journal of Dental Research, 91(3), 311–315. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022034511434356