Common Causes of Damaged Dental Crowns
A dental crown is one of the most frequently used dental restorations. Dental crowns can restore a damaged tooth, improve the appearance of a tooth with severe cosmetic flaws, and protect a tooth from decay or infection. With its many uses, it is no surprise that cosmetic dentist Timothy Kelly uses dental crowns regularly. With all the strength and protection that a dental crown can offer, some patients fail to remember that a dental crown also requires care and upkeep. These restorations are not indestructible and it is not uncommon for Dr. Kelly to see damaged dental crowns among Albuquerque patients. Here, we discuss some of the most common causes of damaged dental crowns and what should be done in the event that a dental crown does become compromised.
Causes of Damaged Crowns
There are several different options for materials that can be used to fabricate a dental crown, but most frequently they are molded out of a porcelain composite material. This is a strong material that can withstand the pressure of biting and chewing, much like the natural teeth. However, also like the natural teeth, dental crowns can become damaged if they are not cared for properly or if they are exposed to too much wear and tear. Below are some factors that are commonly cited as the cause of dental crown damage:
- Poor oral hygiene: A dental crown cannot decay, but the natural tooth that sits beneath the dental crown can develop decay, just as the natural adjacent teeth can. It is important for patients to continue to maintain good oral hygiene habits. The dental crown should be cared for just as the natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing.
- Traumatic injury: The mouth can easily become injured in a fight, fall, or sporting accident. Traumatic injuries are likely to lead to a chipped, cracked, or fractured tooth or dental crown. To protect dental crowns from this type of damage, patients should wear a protective mouth guard any time that they are participating in a sport or athletic activity.
- Excessive wear and tear: Patients who have dental crowns are not under any special restrictions, but, just as with the natural teeth, certain precautions should be taken to avoid excessive wear and tear. It is important to limit consumption of hard foods, avoid using the teeth as tools, and resist habits such as clenching, teeth grinding, or nail biting, as all of these can chip, crack, or simply wear down a dental crown.
What to Do about a Damaged Crown
A dental crown is placed because the natural tooth has become too weak or damaged to safely and effectively perform oral functions. In order to continue to protect the natural tooth and prevent further damage or infection, it is important to address dental crown damage right away. Dr. Kelly can repair a crown with minor damage or fabricate a new restoration if damage is severe. In either case, he can ensure that the natural tooth remains protected and that patients continue to enjoy a comfortably functioning smile.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have a dental crown that has become damaged, it is important to address the problem as soon as possible. Dr. Timothy Kelly can restore or replace a damaged dental crown in order to prevent further dental problems. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to have your dental crown examined and discuss your repair options.