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The Leading Causes of Damaged Dental Crowns

June 4, 2014 — by John Meola
Tags: Dental Crowns Cosmetic Dentistry

When a tooth has been damaged or injured, dental crowns are a strong restoration that can save the tooth from the need for extraction. Dental crown treatment allows our cosmetic dentists to remove weakened and damaged tooth enamel and enclose the remaining natural tooth with a durable and protective porcelain cap. This cap restores strength and function to the tooth while helping to block out harmful bacteria. While dental crowns are extremely durable and can last for many years, there are factors that can cause the dental crowns to become damaged. When our Boston patients experience damaged dental crowns, we can repair or replace the crowns to once again restore the tooth.

Causes of Damaged Crowns

Dental crowns are made of a strong porcelain material that is able to withstand the usual wear and tear that is involved in oral functions such as chewing and eating. However, just like the real teeth, dental crowns can become damaged in certain situations. The following are common causes of damaged dental crowns:

  • Injury: A blow to the face or traumatic force on the face such as that caused by a punch, fall, or sports injury can put significant pressure on a dental crown and cause damage. Depending on the extent of the injury that is suffered, a dental crown may become chipped, cracked, or completely broken. In either case, the aesthetics and the function of the dental crown will be compromised.
  • Oral habits: Although dental crowns are strong, they are vulnerable to damage if a patient practices oral habits that place too much wear and tear on the teeth. This includes clenching, teeth grinding, and nail biting. All of these habits can slowly wear down the dental crown so that it becomes weak or brittle prematurely.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Dental crowns act as a protective barrier between the natural tooth and harmful bacteria. However, it is still very important for patients to practice good oral hygiene habits. If the teeth are not brushed and flossed regularly, bacteria can work its way under the gum line and beneath the dental crown, building up to plaque and tartar. This can lead to oral health problems such as tooth decay, root canal infection, and gum disease, all of which will require treatment that will likely involve the removal of any surrounding dental crown.

The good news is that most of these causes can be avoided. By properly cleaning the teeth and gums, by avoiding excess pressure or friction on the teeth and crowns, and by wearing a protective mouth guard while playing sports, our patients can protect the teeth and ensure that dental crowns reach their lifespan potential.

Treating Damaged Crowns

If a dental crown does become damaged, the natural tooth becomes vulnerable to decay and infection, so it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. When damage is minimal, we may be able to repair the existing crown. However, in more serious cases, the damaged crown will need to be removed and replaced. Either way, it is important to do what is necessary to protect the tooth from any further dental problems.

Schedule an Appointment

At Dental Associates of New England, we offer a comprehensive range of dental services that help patients achieve optimal dental health as well as a beautiful smile. To learn more about our services, schedule an appointment with one of our cosmetic dentists at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!