A dental checkup, or dental exam, is basically a checkup of your teeth and gums. Most dentists recommend that patients see them regularly because of the importance of dental visits. They are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth as well as gums. And in between those checkups, it is vital that you brush and…
What to Do if Your Implant Crown Breaks
An implant crown is the visible part of the prosthetic. It rests on the implant, which is a rod or screw that is surgically placed into the patient's jawbone. A crown is sometimes placed directly on the implant or attached to it with an abutment. Implants are designed to last a lifetime, so they make a perfect couple with crowns, which can last over 20 years with good oral care. While crowns are extremely durable prosthetics, they are more likely to be damaged than an implant.
How an implant crown becomes damaged
The crown on an implant serves as a replacement tooth, but it is not as strong as a real tooth. People who get implants sometimes forget this fact, and that can lead to the device becoming damaged if the person has a habit of chewing on hard things. Things like hard candy, fingernails and ice can easily lead to an implant crown becoming chipped, cracked or broken. A damaged implant crown is not classified as a dental emergency unless the damage leads to jagged edges that can damage soft tissues in the mouth.
Dealing with a damaged crown on an implant
The first thing the patient should do is contact our San Antonio office for an appointment. If the damage makes it a dental emergency, our staff will move the patient to the front of the line. While the crown is damaged, the patient will likely experience increased sensitivity to cold or hot liquids and foods. If a sharp edge has led to bleeding, a piece of gauze should be applied to the affected area to stop the bleeding.
It is okay to pull off the crown if it is loose, as there is always a risk that it is swallowed. If the crown is still in relatively decent condition, over-the-counter dental cement can be used to reattach it. That provides a temporary solution until a dentist can take a look at it.
The severity of the damage determines if the crown can be repaired. For example, a minor chip can be repaired with a composite or by reshaping and smoothing the crown. However, if the damage is extensive, it might be necessary to replace the crown.
If the crown needs to be replaced, the dentist might fit the implant with a temporary crown while a customized one is ordered. It should take about two weeks for the new crown to arrive, then the patient is called in for a second appointment so it can be installed.
Take good care of your crown
Avoiding things that can damage your crown will help you avoid shelling out money for repairs and replacements. A well-maintained crown can last a very long time, making it one of the most cost-effective prosthetics used by dentists. Dealing with a damaged crown? Make sure you follow the tips listed above and stop by our San Antonio office. We will make any required repairs or get you a new crown.
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