Dental crowns are made to last a long time, but they are not meant to last forever. They may wear down or even crack or break. There are many reasons why dental crowns fracture or break. Many times, it is because of weak cement, or non-retentive preparation. It can also be because of outside forces like biting on something hard enough to cause damage to the dental crowns. When this happens, it is important to see a dentist immediately. Upon inspection, these are the steps a dentist in Annapolis, MD will take to correct the problem.
The dentist will check for the cause of the damage to determine whether to use the same type of crown, or to recommend another type which will serve the patient better. The strength of the cement used will also be checked to determine whether an alternative should be used when replacing the crown. Other factors such as habitual teeth clenching and bruxism (grinding of teeth during sleep) will also be taken into consideration.
The broken crown will then be removed, and all of the cement residue will be cleaned. The teeth will be re-examined to see if further cleaning and preparation is needed before covering the tooth with a replacement crown. In some cases, a root canal may be necessary to get rid of all the decaying parts of the tooth before fitting it with a new crown.
A temporary crown will be fitted onto the tooth while waiting for a new permanent crown to be fabricated. If the dentist has all the software and hardware necessary, a zirconia crown may be designed and fabricated on the spot, while the patient waits.
If the crown that needs repair or replacement is a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, it is possible for the dentist to perform an on-the-spot repair. A composite patch may be bonded onto the metal portion of the crown as a temporary solution,while waiting for a replacement crown to be fabricated. This way, the crown will not have to be replaced with a temporary one, then replaced again when the permanent crown is ready.
Replacing dental crowns is a process that you would not want to go through, but there are times when it becomes inevitable. It could be because the crown has suffered through enough wear and tear, or it could be because of an accident. Either way, replacing them is not as easy as getting them in the first place.
In order to lessen the chances of fracturing or damage caused by wear and tear, it is important to take care of dental crowns as if they were real teeth. Avoid biting on things that may cause them to crack and chip off.