Crown repair

Do you know what is a dental crown?

Dental crown is a type of dental restoration that helps you prevent the need for extraction of a decayed or damaged tooth.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover that encircles a badly damaged or decayed tooth or dental implant. Many people refer to a dental crown as a “cap”.

Depending on the purpose for which it was used, a dental crown can be made from many materials, being perfect to improve the strength or appearance of teeth.

Crowns don’t last forever

When a patient get a dental crown he might believe that this crown would last the rest of his life. Well, we’re sorry to inform you that most of the crown deteriorate during their life and at some point can chip, fall, loose, or they can change their initial color.

This deterioration can occur due to a faulty workmanship, poor choice of service, poor hygiene or just a very strong bite. No matter what the cause is, you’ll need a crown repair or replacement.

Generally, crowns repair is not reliable, especially if there is manifested a wholesale destruction. However, in some situations a good dentist can repair a crown if it isn’t too affected and if it meets the standards. The type of repair will be chosen by the doctor, depending on some variables like: the material of which the crowns are composed, the location on the teeth where the crowns have sustained damage, etc.

In some cases (when you’re in a business trip, for example) you’ll have to temporary repair your crowns. If it so, then you should learn that most of these repairs neither look good nor are they strong enough to bear up under the considerable stresses of chewing.

Below you can red how a dentist will repair your crown, but also how to temporary repair a crown, in a correct manner.

Replacements and Repair

People who have all-porcelain crowns, but not only them, should take into account that crowns can chip. Depending on the severity of the situation, this can sometimes be repaired in the mouth or in a lab. If the problem isn’t very severe, the dentist will etch the porcelain with a special agent and then bond a composite resin to it to fix the chip. It may seem a simple solution, but there are still some disadvantages: porcelain repairs often don’t last long. So, especially if there’s a lot of chipping, the patient may need a complete crown replacement.

Beside this problem, another unpleasant situation occurs when the crown does not fit well over the prepared tooth. If it’s so, the cement might wash out from under the crown, but even so, the crown may not fall out right away. Considering the bad conditions, bacteria will leak under the crown and will lead to tooth decay. Even if the dentist will check your crowns at your regular visits, if you notice that your crown is loose when you chew, or if you have an unusual odor around the tooth, discuss this with your dentist.

Crowns that fall out are another common problem in this area. This can be caused by washed-out cement or an improper fit. Nobody wants this to happen, but if it will, you should place the crown in a secure, zip-top plastic bag and then bring it to your dentist. The dentist will decide what to do in this situation. He will probably use the old crown as a temporary one and then will made a new one.

People who experience this kind of problem may be tented to make the repair on their own, without having any knowledge in this field. They should learn that this isn’t indicated, but if the circumstances determine you to put the crown back in your mouth, clean it well on the inside, by using a toothpick to loosen and remove any cement or debris that is stuck to the crown. For the final touches, you can use a wet cotton swab. The crown can be temporary replaced by denture adhesive or temporary cement. No matter what, you must contact your dentist right away and try to schedule a visit for the next day.

Repairing porcelain-metal and all-ceramic crowns

Despite its countless qualities, porcelain is a brittle material that determines most of the problems regarding dental crowns. One of the biggest problems is that, due to all kind of accidents, porcelain may fracture.

As some of you might know, a porcelain-metal crown or an all-ceramic crown isn’t cheap, so many patients cannot afford replacement of the restoration. The only solution remains some form of maintenance and repair. In some cases, a restoration replaces many teeth and the patient who experience some problems may not want to undergo the complicated procedure of removing the defective restoration.

Treatment planning

From the start we want to note that whenever a patient experiences a fracture of a porcelain-metal or all-ceramic crown he should be aware that the most predictable outcome would be replacement of the fractured restoration.

When you walk into a dentist office and you hear that the replacement is the best solution it may seem an exaggeration of the dentist to earn some extra money, but you should learn that a replacement allows the clinician to control all factors that will contribute to restoration success. These factors include everything from the beginning of the preparation: tooth preparation, occlusion, gingival health, laboratory fabrication (you have a history with your dental laboratory), and cementation.

If the fracture isn’t very large and is not on the front teeth, the dentist will polish the porcelain to remove rough edges so the patient is comfortable. Still, in case that the porcelain is fractured on a single crown, the most appropriate treatment plan is the replacement of the crown, using a temporary crown until the final crown is ready. On the other hand, in multi-unit fixed partial dentures case, the situation is different. Here the decision to replace the entire restoration depends of the patient’s budget.

The latest studies demonstrated that repairs of fractures of the crowns in the posterior region recorded a lower success rate than anterior repairs. The same studies revealed that in patients with a fracture of occlusal porcelain or a proximal marginal ridge, the best choice is to replace the restoration.

The dentist recommend the anterior repairs with an adhesive composite resin only if occlusion and the adequate surface area for retention of the repair is achieved. In addition to that, a repair will survive only if it will be made on surfaces not subject to shear stresses. Also, to decide to repair a crown instead of replacing it, the dentist will evaluate the patient’s condition. The repair will last over time only if the restoration has intact margins and the preparation of the site does not weaken the entire restoration.

You should know that for the visible areas the repair isn’t the best choice, while for the hidden areas the composite resin isn’t the only alternative of repair. There are also other techniques including a laboratory-fabricated porcelain veneer or a porcelain-metal overlay crown.

Surface treatments of metal and porcelain for repair

There are many materials used for crowns, so the materials used for crown’s repair are varied too. The dentist is in a difficult situation when he must identify the materials used for the fabrication of the crown, considering that over the years have been used different combinations of materials and procedures. However, he will find the best alternative to fix a fractured crown, so you should put all your trust in his abilities.

When it comes to dental porcelains, you should learn that these are very similar, chemically speaking, so your dentist will probably choose the composite resin that has a great ability to adhere to porcelain.

Surface roughening of metal and porcelain

In order to make the adhesive to adhere to a crown, the dentist will use surface treatments with air abrasion to microscopically roughen the surfaces to be.

Home repair: How to repair a loose dental crown

***IMPORTANT NOTE: We do NOT encourage such practices, because they may have very serious consequences. The tips below are applicable only in extreme emergencies, these situations being followed as soon as possible by a visit to a specialist!!!

Is the end of the week, you go out with your girlfriend at a romantic dinner, you order a stake and the scenario is complete: you find that you just lost a filling or your crown came loose. Taking into account that is evening and the next day is Saturday, it is pretty difficult to call your dentist for an appointment. There aren’t too many options for you, considering that the crown is very loose and there’s a risk for you to swallow it.

What to do? Well, you should go to your local Pharmacy and look in the toothpaste isle. Here will be many different products that are designed to provide a temporary fix and this way you can wait until Monday, when you go to your dentist.

Steps:

1. If the crown is loose, remove it and clean it well with a toothbrush. Beside this, you must clean the tooth too.
2. Now is time to remove the dental adhesive remains from the inside of the crown. For this operation you can use a clean tooth pick.
3. So far, so good. Assuming that the crown is completely clean, you must put it back to your mouth on tooth to make sure it will still fits. It will probably fit, but if it isn’t then you can’t do anything, so you must wait until you can visit your dental specialist. If the crown fits perfectly on the tooth, then remove it gently and lightly fill its inside with a temporary dental adhesive product.
4. After you’ve done this, firmly press it back on the wet tooth. You can test it by biting down a few times.
5. If you’ve used too much adhesive, it will leak out of the sides of the crown. This excess should be cleaned by rinsing the mouth well with water.
6. Carefully read the instructions of the dental adhesive, because most of these require that you do not eat anything for at least one hour after applying.

Home repair: How to repair a lost filling

***IMPORTANT NOTE: We do NOT encourage such practices, because they may have very serious consequences. The tips below are applicable only in extreme emergencies, these situations being followed as soon as possible by a visit to a specialist!!!

Steps:

1. In this case, first of all you must wash your hands and also brush the tooth to remove any remains from the old filling.
2. Open the temporary dental adhesive tube. Squeeze a small amount of the dental adhesive and roll it in your fingers to form it into a small ball.
3. Now open your mouth and firmly press the dental adhesive ball into the tooth that lost the filling. Try to fill the hole as good as possible. Test the filling by biting down. If it isn’t comfortable remove it completely and repeat the action from the beginning.
4. If it is comfortable, remove any excess of adhesive by rinsing the mouth with water. Carefully read the instructions of the dental adhesive, because most of these require that you do not eat anything for at least one hour after.

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