Given their wide range of applications, there’s a good chance you’ve had a dental crown placed over at least one of your permanent teeth, or know someone who has. Modern dental crowns are made to look and function like real teeth, and can be crafted from a variety of materials to meet your exact needs and preferences. Although crowns are highly durable and effective, they aren’t permanent, and Kansas City dentist John Goodman understands that cracked dental crowns should be addressed immediately to avoid further damage or infection to the underlying tooth.
The Purpose of a Dental Crown
A dental crown is named after the top part of your tooth, called the tooth crown, which rests above the gum line. Comprised of layers, a tooth’s crown surrounds the nerves and blood vessels in a hollow chamber at its center, called the root canal. When a tooth’s enamel (outer layer of mineral crystals) and dentin (porous, bone-like body of the tooth) are damaged, the pulp within the root canal can be exposed to bacteria and infection. Dental crowns are designed to cap, protect, and improve the appearance of a damaged tooth to prevent further damage/infection from rendering the tooth non-functional.
How Dental Crowns Break
As a top cosmetic dentistry treatment, porcelain dental crowns can improve a tooth’s appearanceby concealing stains, chips, uneven edges, and a wealth of other cosmetic blemishes. As a restorative measure, crowns can protect a tooth that is worn down, cracked, fractured, broken, or treated for infectious tooth decay. Whatever the reason for receiving a dental crown, the restoration will endure a lot of wear-and-tear. With proper care and maintenance, your crown may last up to 10 to 15 years, though you can prolong their integrity by reducing the risk factors of cracked or damaged crowns.
When teeth are crooked and some of them meet their opposites before the others do, the first teeth to touch can absorb the brunt of your bite’s force. If one of these teeth is capped with a dental crown, it may crack or break over time from the excessive pressure.
Do you tend to bite on your pen or pencil when you’re nervous or anxious? Does chewing on ice seem to calm your nerves? Your teeth were made for chewing food, and dental crowns can adequately restore that function; but when you crunch on ice or chew on inedible objects, your dental crown (and your teeth) can crack under the pressure.
Akin to nervous chewing, bruxism describes habitually grinding your teeth, which may occur mostly at night. Teeth grinding produces incredible amounts of pressure and friction that can prematurely wear down your teeth and dental restorations, increasing your risk of a cracked or damaged dental crown.
How Is Your Dental Crown Holding Up?
If your cracked or broken dental crown needs replacement, or if it’s been a while since you’ve had your crown placed and you want to prevent it from suffering damage, then contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. John Goodman.