Dental crowns are an excellent option for patients needing to protect a damaged tooth and restore an attractive smile. An added benefit is that crowns are also durable, on average lasting between 10 and 15 years.
But, as durable as they are, dental crowns can suffer damage. If you have a crown that has been damaged, you should speak to a skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist to have it examined. A damaged crown could introduce decay or cause an infection of the tooth’s root, which could require root canal treatment. The dentists at Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care, with locations in Bossier and Shreveport, understand the problems associated with damaged crowns and can recommend appropriate solutions to fend off complications.
What Damages a Crown?
A dental crown is a cap that totally covers a tooth down to the gum line. But even though your tooth has this armor coating, both the tooth and crown can still be damaged due to bad habits and poor oral hygiene.
Common causes of crown damage include:
- Decay. Even though a crown completely covers a tooth and the crown itself can’t decay, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about plaque and cavities. Brushing and flossing are essential to keep plaque from collecting at the base of the crown, where it can seep into the crown’s interior and decay the tooth.
- Biting and Chewing Hard Objects. Biting hard objects, like fingernails or ice, can cause chips or cracks in the crown.
- Mouth Injury. An injury to your mouth can break a crown. If you play sports you should wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your crown.
- Bruxism. Regular grinding and clenching of your teeth can damage a crown. The problem with bruxism is that it often happens at night without your knowledge. If you grind your teeth, ask a dentist about a mouth guard to wear while you sleep.
Repairing a crown will depend on the extent of damage. Sometimes a crown can be repaired, but if not, the entire crown will need to be removed and replaced.
How to Care For Your Crown
Fortunately, the steps you take to protect a crown are the same things you should be doing to protect your teeth. You can protect your crown with these daily habits:
- Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day. You should do this on a regular basis to keep bacteria and plaque away.
- Floss Daily. Flossing removes plaque and tartar deposits that regular brushing doesn’t remove, particularly between teeth and at the base of the crown.
- Avoid hard foods. This includes ice, popcorn kernels, and jawbreakers.
- Avoid chewing hard objects, like fingernails.
- Avoid teeth grinding.
If your crown is broken or loose, you should have it examined within a day or two, even if you don’t have any pain. A crack could allow bacteria inside your tooth, infecting the tooth’s root.
Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care has a team of seven dentists in three locations around Bossier and Shreveport if you need to have a crown examined. Please call today.