Can Zirconia Crowns Crack?

Unfortunately, it can happen quite often that a patient goes to the dentist for a broken tooth crown. Though zirconia crowns are some of the strongest options available to patients, they can crack or fall off.

The causes of the broken tooth crown

One of the most common reasons that can lead to the breaking of a dental crown is a filling caused by cavities or secondary cavities. This happens when the tooth covered by the crown is affected by a cavity and this can happen because the tooth placed under the crown is susceptible to them just like the other teeth. When the tooth decays, there is a loss of the tooth structure that is ‘holding’ the crown. For this reason, oral hygiene, brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are so important. Additionally, cavities affecting the tooth under the crown can weaken the structure of the tooth and causing the crown to loosen and fall off your tooth. A crown can also break when you are eating due to the cutting force exerted on the crown or the hardness of the object being eaten. Crowns should never be used to open bottles or break hard objects. You should also be careful with certain foods, especially when you have more than one crown in your mouth. Repeated chewing of sticky food over time can break down the cement that holds the crown to the tooth. This usually happens when you forget not to chew sticky food before the cement in the crown frame. In this case, a dentist can re-cement the crown on the tooth, but a careful evaluation of the tooth structure will be necessary first. The consumption of sticky foods such as some sweets should also be moderate as they could damage the dental crown in the long run.

Poor fixation of the dental crown

Cementation is the process by which the dentist cements the permanent crown. There is a wide variety of cements used by dentists and which one to use depends on the type of crown being produced. There have also been enormous advances in the quality and strength of the cements, as a result those who have a crown from several years ago might consider replacing it with a more modern crown to decrease the risk of a broken tooth crown. The process by which a crown is cemented onto a tooth is very important. Some cements require a completely dry tooth and sometimes an air gap can affect the cement making it possible for you to have a broken tooth crown. If the tooth structure is not sufficient, a dentist should consider whether a dental crown is a possibility or whether another procedure is needed before making a crown.

What to do with the broken tooth crown

So what to do if a crown falls off? First of all, don't panic and don't try to repair the damage yourself. If the crown comes off while eating try not to swallow it or inhale it. Call your dentist right away and try not to eat on the tooth until it is evaluated by the specialist. The dentist will decide how to act based on the location of the broken tooth crown. If the crown is made of zirconia, it could be repaired in the laboratory, the ideal solution as it is possible to disassemble it without affecting the internal structure and without damaging the supporting tooth. In case of a broken tooth crown in some situations the specialist may also try to repair the crown directly in the patient's mouth. In this case, you will need to use a composite resin other than ceramic.

However, there are also situations in which, without an aesthetic requirement and if the detached fragment does not affect the functional area, it will be necessary to carefully polish the fractured surface. In other cases of broken dental crowns, the only really feasible solution should be to replace the prosthesis. The fracture could be caused not only by a traumatic event but also by a defect in the ceramic or in both clinical and dental design. In short, in the event of a broken tooth crown, the best thing to do will be to contact the dentist and discuss with them what is the best way to intervene. Fortunately, your dentist will have a wide range of possibilities available, ranging from repairing the crown to replacing it.

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