Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Broken or Missing Crown

Dental crowns are synthetic caps that are permanently attached to your tooth or dental implant, and their advantages are both functional and cosmetic. 

They restore strength and beauty to your mouth if your tooth is damaged by trauma or decay — or by your decision not to pass up that piece of rock-hard peanut brittle. 

Though crowns are durable and typically last for years, wear-and-tear, teeth grinding, and accidents can cause them to break or fall out. 

Here at Popper Dental on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Dr. Marlisa Popper, Dr. Jason Popper, and Dr. Howard Popper are happy to replace or repair your crown promptly if you meet with any dental mishap. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait to give us a call.

The risks posed by a broken or missing crown

First, it’s good to understand the important services that a crown provides

Crowns protect and camouflage teeth that are damaged due to injury or significant decay — they’re frequently placed after a root canal procedure, for instance. They also cover dental implants and even serve as support aids when we place a bridge. 

If you damage or lose a crown, we encourage you to seek treatment promptly. The longer you live with this less-than-optimal situation, the more risks it poses to your mouth: 

With a missing or broken crown, your newly exposed tooth or implant is vulnerable to bacteria from food and beverages. If the crown had been placed over your tooth, the already damaged tooth has a higher chance of decaying further. Trapped food can also lead to bad breath.

If your crown covered a tooth with any living pulp remaining, you could experience sensitivity and pain. Your crown is essentially a substitute tooth, so you leave yourself open to problems with chewing food and speaking clearly if it falls out.

Ignoring a lost crown could even contribute to bone loss, which you should avoid as much as possible. Your jawbone is to your mouth as a foundation is to a house — a necessity.

Is a broken or missing crown a dental emergency?

If you’re in severe pain, a broken or missing crown is considered an emergency and you should seek same-day treatment. Also, jagged edges from a broken crown could cut the inside of your mouth and lead to infection.

If it’s less serious, which is the more common outcome, you’re good to schedule an appointment over the next few days. We can’t stress it enough, though: Even if you’re not in pain from breaking or losing your crown, don’t delay getting it fixed. 

Options for repairing or replacing your crown

If the break isn’t severe, we may be able to repair your crown. If the crown came out completely, but it’s in good condition and you still have it, we may be able to reattach it. 

If you lose your crown or it’s unsalvageable, we fit you for a new one by making an impression of your teeth, which lab fabricators use to make an exact match, appropriate for your mouth and your mouth only. While you wait for your permanent crown, we fit you with a temporary one. 

Before your crown is repaired or replaced, we make sure that your tooth or area surrounding your implant is in good shape, with no decay, and is scrupulously clean. If we do find anything problematic, we can fix it before you receive the new or repaired crown.

The crowns we use are made of strong, stable materials, including porcelain, ceramic, porcelain that’s fused to metal, and cast gold. We work with you to determine which material is best. This depends on factors such as the location of the crown, cost, and your personal preference.

Act now to repair or replace your crown

To schedule an appointment for us to assess and repair or replace your damaged or lost crown, call our New York City office or schedule your visit online.

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