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Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Cracked or Missing Crown

Dental crowns are designed to cover and protect a damaged tooth and keep your smile healthy. 

The crowns we provide here at First Impression Dental in Fresno, California, are crafted of the highest quality porcelain and expertly fashioned by Dr. Brett Lent to mimic your natural tooth color, size, shape, and strength.

We’re also one of only three providers in the Central Valley to offer the convenience of same-day crowns using the superior technology of CEREC Primescan AC and Primemill systems.

Just like your natural teeth, however, even the most expertly fashioned crowns can crack or break. Dr. Lent explains why damage happens and how you might prevent it.

What benefits do crowns offer?

The natural crown is the portion of your tooth anatomy that’s visible above the gums. It’s coated with enamel and provides the durable chewing surface required for consuming your favorite foods. It also protects the soft inner portion of your tooth (dentin) as well as the nerves, ligaments, roots, and other tissue structures that anchor your teeth to your jaw.

Dental crowns are manufactured prosthetics that mimic the appearance and strength of a natural crown. Highly valued for their cosmetic benefits, crowns are also designed to:

 When a crown cracks or breaks, you lose these benefits.

What causes a dental crown to crack or break?

Today’s dental crowns are extremely durable and stable due to innovations in dental materials and techniques. A crown placed decades ago, however, may crack or loosen due to the normal wear-and-tear of everyday use.

Certain behaviors also place excessive pressure on crowns and increase the risk of cracks that often start small and lead to significant damage over time. 

These habits include:

Sometimes a fall or other trauma damages a crown. An unexpected piece of shell, bone, or other hard substance within an otherwise soft bite can also lead to a cracked or broken crown.

Ignoring a broken or missing crown can lead to infection that can spread throughout your mouth and jawbone. 

Preventing damage to crowns

You can help prevent damage to dental crowns by avoiding chewing ice, hard candies, and other foods that increase your risk of breaking or cracking a tooth.

Dr. Lent also recommends wearing mouthguards as directed for certain sports activities or bruxism and using scissors or your hands rather than your teeth to open packages.  

Probably the most important preventive measure, however, is to practice good dental hygiene and schedule routine exams as directed.

During an exam, Dr. Lent can identify and repair small cracks, unusual surface wear, and other minor problems before they worsen and threaten the overall strength and integrity of your crown.

With the advances offered by CEREC Primescan AC and Primemill systems, he can also create and place a replacement crown if necessary during your visit.

For outstanding dental care delivered in a family-friendly, patient-focused environment, schedule a visit at First Impression Dental Fresno today.

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