Crowns are a marvel of modern dentistry. With them, people are able to keep their own teeth and maintain bone and gum structure and overall oral health.
If a tooth is broken, or has too much decay for small fillings, having a crown placed on the tooth will save it from further damage and allows the patient to continue using the tooth. It is an investment that more than pays for itself in looks and function. So when a crown is damaged, it is important to have it repaired or replaced to keep the tooth in good shape. If you have a crown and know ahead of time that it will need a repair or replacement, that is great! You simply make an appointment with your dentist for the restorative work. Sometimes, though, life isn’t so tidy. A broken or loose crown can happen at night, on a weekend, or during vacation! What do you do when this happens? When is a broken or missing crown an emergency? Fortunately, if you are in Idaho Falls and need emergency crown repair, you have Comfort Care Dental at your service.
When You Need An Emergency Fix For Your Crown In Idaho Falls
Damage to a crown can happen in many ways. Normally, a crown is good for up to 15 years with typical use. The kind of damage that can happen to a crown depends on how it is being used, and what kind of material it is made of. Crowns are most commonly made from:
- Metal (such as gold, chromium, or palladium)
- Porcelain or Ceramic (made from Lithium Disilicate)
- Porcelain-Fused to Metal (porcelain overlay of the metal crown)
Metal crowns (think gold..) are the most durable kind of crown and are not likely to crack or break. Problems that could arise from metal crowns would be more related to the crown cement loosens, or there is decay in the tooth underneath the crown that could cause the crown to loosen or fall off.
Porcelain crowns are not as durable, and they can chip, crack or break if the patient chews on hard materials, or uses their teeth to open bottles, is prone to clenching or grinding their teeth, or through other similar dental horrors. Porcelain fused to metal crowns are also prone to chipping if it is used to bite on hard items. Both types of porcelain crowns are also susceptible to becoming loose for the same reasons the metal crowns do. If the chip in the crown is small and doesn’t bother you too much, simply call your dentist office during regular business hours and make an appointment for repair. If a chip or crack occurs in the crown and is causing you pain, or if the crown comes loose or falls off, then you should evaluate the damage and determine if you will need an emergency crown repair at the Comfort Care Dental office in Idaho Falls.
In the event of a crack or chip in the crown, if it doesn’t cause you pain, and the actual tooth underneath the crown is not exposed or damaged, that is a good indicator that the crown can wait for a regular appointment. Simply monitor the damage and take care not to do anything to worsen it, then call for an appointment during regular dental office hours. If the chip or crack is exposing the tooth and there is sensitivity, it still may not be an emergency. Drugstores carry temporary dental cement, dental waxes, and sometimes temporary crown repair kits for exactly these situations. These are easy to apply to the broken crown and will act as a stopgap until you can get an appointment with your dentist. If there is bleeding and a good amount of pain, then you may need to call the Idaho Falls dental office for emergency crown repair. The point of the crown is to protect the tooth it is covering. If the tooth is damaged and painful, the crown needs to be repaired as soon as possible to save the tooth. This same protocol can be applied to loose or crowns that have fallen completely off.
If the crown comes loose enough to remove, definitely remove it to keep from swallowing it. Clean the crown and check to make sure there are no pieces of tooth inside of it. If not, clean it and save it. The shaved down tooth will be sensitive to pretty much everything, so again, drugstore temporary cement or wax applied to the tooth will really help until you can see a dentist. If the tooth is not damaged and the pain is not severe, wait until regular business hours to call your dentist. If the tooth itself is damaged, loose, bleeding, or is very painful, this is a good indication you may need an emergency visit to your Idaho Falls dental office for a crown fix. If you are unsure if you need an emergency crown appointment, please call the Idaho Falls Comfort Care Dental office for advice.
Emergency Crown Repair And COVID-19
Right now in the world, communities are grappling with healthcare questions regarding the coronavirus. Many dental offices have suspended many routine services, but most will see patients on an emergency basis. The American Dental Association has provided recommendations to dentists and their teams about what may or may not be an emergency. These are not hard and fast “rules”, but guidance. The ADA states here:
“As part of the emergency guidance, the Association added urgent dental care which “focuses on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments.”
Examples of urgent dental care treatments, which should be treated as minimally invasively as possible, include:
• Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation.
• Pericoronitis or third-molar pain.
• Surgical postoperative osteitis or dry socket dressing changes.
• Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling.
• Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma.
• Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation.
• Dental treatment cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken, or causing gingival irritation.
Other emergency dental care includes extensive caries or defective restorations causing pain; suture removal; denture adjustments on radiation/oncology patients; denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded; replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain; and snipping or adjustments of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa.” This implies that emergency crown repair or treatment is an acceptable reason to make an emergency appointment. If you are seeking an emergency crown repair, give Comfort Care Dental in Idaho Falls a call!