Understanding The Problem Of Cracked Dental Crowns

If you have a broken or extremely decayed tooth, then you may need a crown in your future. Dental crowns can successfully protect damaged teeth so they do not need to be extracted. While porcelain crowns are usually quite strong and secure, they can crack. Keep reading to understand why crowns may crack, whether or not the problem is an emergency, and what your dentist will do about the issue.

Why Do Dental Crowns Crack?

Dental crowns are strong and porcelain is layered, fired in a high-heat environment, and then cemented to your tooth. This creates strength, but porcelain does have its weaknesses, much like the tooth enamel. Like your enamel, porcelain is hard. When porcelain is placed under a great deal of stress, it forms cracks. This is how a hard material alleviates pressure and force. Over time, the small cracks widen and lengthen until a portion of the porcelain breaks away from the crown.

Direct bite stress, especially on the premolars and molars, causes bits of the enamel to wear away little by little. The result is a dental crown that thins and weakens over time. A crown will typically fail within about 15 years, so old age is another common cause of a cracked crown. 

Is A Cracked Crown An Emergency?

Cracked dental crowns are not considered an emergency. Since the crack is unlikely to run all the way into the natural tooth material. While this is true, if the crack runs all the way through the thickness of the dental crown, food, plaque, and bacteria can start to congest in the opening and reach the natural tooth material under the crown. Decay may then develop in the tooth. 

Since a cavity may develop, it is wise to have your crown examined and treated by your dental as soon as possible. 

What Will Your Dentist Do?

When you make arrangements to see your dentist, the professional will consider the age of the crown. If the crown is an older one or shows obvious signs of wear, like the smoothing of the peaks on the biting edge, then the crown will likely be replaced. 

If the crown is not very old and the crack does not reach through the whole crown, then the porcelain may be reshaped to remove sharp edges. The crown will then be watched for future signs of damage and the crown will be replaced if a new crack develops in the same area. 

If the crack has formed through the entire thickness of the crown, then your dentist can fill in the opening. Resin composite or bonging materials will be used. The procedure will be similar to the way that a tooth-colored dental filling is added to a decayed tooth. If you suspect that you have damaged dental crowns, contact a business such as the Four Corners Dental Group