None of us plan to have dental problems, and when an unexpected issue comes up, we certainly don’t enjoy taking the time to address it. But when something happens to your dental crowns, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to repair it quickly.

Dealing with broken or lost dental crowns can be very painful, but it can also put the integrity of the tooth in jeopardy. Properly caring for your crown is the key to preventing issues down the road, and even the most avid brushes and flossers run into unexpected issues with their dental crowns.

Today we’ll discuss the steps you should take if your dental crown is damaged, and how to protect your smile for years to come.

How to Treat a Damaged Dental Crown

Dental crowns are one of the most common dental restorations, and they’re an excellent treatment option for damaged teeth. A crown is like a cap that covers a broken, damaged, or misshapen tooth, ultimately restoring the look and functionality of the tooth. Dental crowns are also placed over teeth that have received root canal therapy as a way to restore and protect the tooth from further damage.

But like most things in life, they don’t last forever. While the exact life expectancy of dental crowns vary, they generally last around 15 years. Before then, dental crowns may occasionally break or fall out.

While broken crowns are not generally considered to be a dental emergency, it’s important to assess the situation and contact your general dentist as soon as possible. Since the crown protects the sensitive interior structure of your tooth, the cracked exterior could allow for bacteria to enter and create an infection. Your dentist may be able to squeeze you in for an appointment sooner if you are in a lot of pain, or if jagged edges of the tooth are exposed.

If your dental crown falls out, the first step is to try not to panic. We know –– easier said than done! Take a deep breath, and if possible, try to fit the crown back over the tooth. Make sure the crown is clean and disinfected and then use tooth cement or dental adhesive to keep the crown in place until you can make an appointment with your dentist for repair.

How to Care for Your Dental Crowns

There are a few ways you can make sure your dental crowns stay healthy and in place for years to come. Get the most “mileage” out of your crown by doing the following:

  • Care for Your Dental Crown: Caring for your dental crowns is no different than caring for your natural teeth. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, for at least two minutes a time. You also need to be flossing daily and visiting your general dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and exam. During the exam, your dentist will check your dental crowns to make sure they’re holding up well.
  • Use Mouthwash: Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help remove plaque from the teeth and give your teeth an added layer of protection. Of course, proper hygiene is still important –– never use mouthwash as a replacement for the oral hygiene techniques listed above.
  • Avoid Causing Damage: Be cautious of any habits or behaviors that can cause potential damage to a dental crown. This includes chewing on objects like pens and pencils, neglecting to wear a night guard or mouth guard if needed, using your teeth as tools, or eating hard or sticky foods.

Properly caring for your dental crown is the best way to prevent damage. But for those unexpected dental problems or injuries, our team at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado is here to help! Our highly-trained specialists practice the latest advances in root canal therapy, and their patient-centered care is second to none. To learn how we can help restore your smile, contact us to schedule an evaluation!