What Should I Do If I Damage A Dental Crown?

Posted on: 14 April 2016

Dental crowns are strong, but they aren't indestructible. Sometimes a seemingly small act, such as biting down or grinding your teeth together, can cause them to crack. A broken or loose dental crown isn't serious; however, the exposed tooth and gums could become quite sensitive and painful. While you won't need emergency dental treatment, you should book an appointment at your earliest possible convenience.

Short-Term Treatment

Damaging a crown shouldn't affect your day-to-day life, but if you experience swelling or pain, there's no need to panic. Simply wash out your mouth with warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt, and then use a cotton swab to apply clove oil to the socket. This will give you some relief. If the dentin is exposed, cover your tooth with sugar free chewing gum to protect it. In addition, feel free to use over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, if the pain becomes overbearing.

If you wait for too long, you'll expose the empty space around the tooth to food and plaque, which could result in a bacterial infection. Surrounding teeth could also start migrating into the space, leaving no more room for the crown – this is when it becomes problematic.

Using a Crown Repair Kit

Crown repair kits can be purchased in most pharmacies and contain a dental cement designed to re-attach crowns. However, this is just a temporary solution; you will still need to visit the dentist. Never under any circumstance use household glues. They may not only be hazardous for your health, but could corrode the crown and damage your teeth and gums.

Before you apply the cement, rinse off the crown and scrub it with a toothbrush to remove any excess tissue – make sure you plug the hole first! Using sterile gauze, dry off the crown and your tooth to ensure the cement sets properly. If you can't comfortably fit the crown back where it belongs, store it in a safe place until your dental appointment. When you have temporarily fixed your crown, you'll need to be extra cautious. Gently floss your teeth to ensure they're free from any excess cement and avoid eating hard or chewy foods.

Dental crowns have a finite lifespan, lasting for an average of 5 to 15 years. If you're crown has already reached this age and feels loose or damaged, arrange to have a new one fitted when you next visit to the dentist.