Do You Need to Pull a Tooth if the Crown Broke Off?
Posted on 12/7/2020 by Dr. Michael Wockenfus
Dental crowns provide two common functions: they act as anchors for bridges, and they can protect damaged teeth. When a crown that acts as a defense for a weakened tooth falls off or breaks, the patient should call our office immediately. A crown that is broken or that has fallen off is not a dental emergency unless the protected tooth is in significant pain. However, we will endeavor to bring the patient in for treatment within five days of the crown being damaged or removed.
When Tooth Extraction is Necessary
When the tooth covered by the crown is damaged or infected beyond repair, the tooth should be pulled instead of covered. When a cracked tooth has a crack down to the gumline, we will often recommend that the tooth be pulled. Teeth that have been infected to the point where a root canal or similar treatments won't restore the tooth's functionality should be removed as well.
When Tooth Extraction is Not Required
One factor that can cause a crown to fall off is an improper fitting. When this occurs, making an adjustment to the crown or applying a replacement crown is a preferred alternative when the underlying tooth has not been damaged further. Bruxism – the grinding of teeth, especially when a patient sleeps – can wear down a crown; in this instance as well, a replacement crown is often a better solution than extraction. And external forces such as facial injuries and falls can damage or dislodge a crown; if the underlying tooth has not been irreparably compromised, a replacement crown can solve the dental situation.
Oral health complications do not have a general solution that applies to all cases. This is true when dealing with damaged or removed crowns. The state of the crown and the state of the underlying tooth will determine the best course of action. Patients with issues with their dental crowns should contact our office immediately for a diagnosis and a treatment plan that is appropriate for the situation.
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