Do You Have a Broken Tooth?
Dental crowns are one of the best resources dentists have when it comes to repairing teeth including:
- Cracked teeth
- Fractured teeth
- A tooth that has a root canal
- A tooth with excessive decay
- Teeth that are chipping or breaking down because of a misaligned bite or large silver fillings
- Strengthening and giving structure to a tooth
A crown fits over the tooth to basically hold it together so that a crack can’t advance. If a crown wasn’t placed, the crack would grow due to bite pressure and thermodynamic changes in the mouth.
Similarly, a tooth that is chipping, breaking down, or that has already fractured can continue to do so if left untreated..
Dental Crowns – What You Can Expect During Your Repair Appointments
Do you think you might need a crown? Here’s what to expect at your dental appointments.
1. Initial Assessment
First, we need to evaluate whether you’re a candidate for a crown.
Sometimes, decay or a fracture is so advanced that there’s not enough natural tooth structure remaining to support a crown.
In some cases, the tooth needs a root canal and build-up procedure before it can support a crown. In others, the only option is an extraction.
2. The Crown Preparation Appointment
The 1st treatment appointment involves preparing (shaping) the tooth. All crowns have a certain minimal thickness to insure enough bulk to have adequate strength. For most crowns, the minimal thickness is about 2mm on ALL sides of the tooth. At this stage of preparing the tooth, any decay that is present will be removed as well as tooth or filling structure that is loose or unsound. Due to these requirements, there may be some portions of the tooth that are reduced more than 2mm. This just means the crown will be thicker in those areas. In some cases, there is so much of the tooth broken off or decayed that it must first have a build up with filling material to make it larger giving more surface for the crown to stay in place. This is called a core buildup
An impression of the prepared tooth as well as the opposing teeth are taken. These are sent to the dental lab where the crown is fabricated that will be the size and shape of an actual tooth. The time needed by the lab is typically 2 weeks.
A temporary crown is cemented at this first treatment appointment so that you won’t be without a tooth for the 2 week period.
3. Crown Delivery
During this appointment, your temporary crown is removed and we place in the lab fabricated crown which is checked for fit, bite and appearance.
The permanent crown is cemented and all excess cement is cleaned off around and between the crown.
The bite is checked and adjustments made if necessary so the crown should not feel foreign to your mouth or when you chew.
4. After Care
The great thing about a crown is that it’s just like a real tooth so you can brush, floss and eat normally. We do however, recommend that you avoid very sticky foods like caramel candy.
Since there is still natural tooth structure at the margin where the crown meets tooth, it’s very important to brush and floss around your new crown just as you would a tooth. While the crown can’t decay, the natural tooth may.
Getting a Broken Tooth Repaired – Don’t Put It Off
A lot of patients put off getting dental crowns due to time, money, or a lack of dental pain.
The issue with putting off dental repairs is that the situation will often get worse.
Patients who put treatment off can end up experiencing pain, infection, the loss of even more tooth structure, or the loss of the tooth altogether. In other words – they can end up in a worse situation that costs more time and more money.
If you have a broken tooth or experience dental discomfort – your tooth needs attention. Don’t put off getting the dental work you need!
Schedule an appointment online here or call us at (403) 948-3342