Problems With Dental Crowns And What To Do About Them

Most people who follow proper oral hygiene habits can expect their dental crowns to last between five and 15 years with few to no problems. Sometimes patients who've had a crown placed will develop complications, however.

Pain or Sensitivity

Some of the most common problems people with crowns complain of are pain, discomfort, or sensitivity. It's normal to feel some slight discomfort for a day or two after you have a crown placed and the anesthesia wears off. If the discomfort or sensitivity continues, your dentist might suggest you switch to a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth.

Some people notice increased sensitivity to temperature after they get a crown. This temperature sensitivity often happens due to the dentin under the tooth's enamel being exposed during the crowning process. If you experience this type of sensitivity, your dentist can apply a protective solution to your tooth to protect the dentin from extreme temperatures.

Tooth Decay

Since crowns aren't natural teeth, they can't decay. However, if you don't brush and floss carefully, you can develop plaque buildup along the edge where the crown meets the tooth. When plaque accumulates, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities. 

If you develop tooth decay or cavities under the crown, your dentist will need to remove the crown to clean out the decay and fill any cavities and then place a new crown.

Chipped Crown

Some crowns are made completely of porcelain and can chip. Avoid biting into extremely hard foods directly on a porcelain crown. If your crown does get chipped, your dentist might be able to repair it if the missing piece is small. If the chip is large or the entire crown is damaged, you may need a new replacement crown.

Loose or Lost Crown

Sometimes crowns can feel loose or even fall off completely if the fit isn't quite right or if there wasn't enough cement used when it was placed to keep it firmly attached. A loose crown can be a gateway for bacteria that lead to tooth decay, so it's important to make an appointment to have your dentist check your crown if it feels wiggly or loose.

If your crown falls off completely, contact your dentist immediately. Your dentist's office or an emergency line will let you know exactly how to take care of your tooth until you can get in to have it replaced. In some cases, dentists are able to re-cement a crown that falls off instead of placing a new one.

It's important to see your dentist regularly, particularly if you have crowns or have had other extensive dental work done. Make an appointment for a checkup and cleaning at least once every six months.