A dental crown is a custom porcelain replica of your tooth which is designed to fit over your trimmed down natural tooth like a cap. The importance of a crown is to protect, improve and rebuild your natural tooth. When properly created to the exact specifications of your tooth your dental crown can last 10-20 years with regular visits to your dentist and good oral hygiene. However, you can tell soon after the procedure if your dental crown was not fitted properly.
Check to see if your crown is loose. When fitted properly, your crown should be cemented, or bonded, over your natural tooth. This is to prevent the weak tooth from further damage. However, when not properly fitted, you will notice that the crown feels loose. Or it may even fall out. This can occur if crown doesn’t have enough support from your natural tooth to maintain a proper fit after it’s been bonded. A loose-fitted dental crown can be the result of improper construction at the dental laboratory or inadequate preparation of your tooth. Another reason can be because of additional decay after the crown was constructed.
Check your bite. If your dental crown does not properly fit, you may notice that the crown’s shape is incorrect. This is known as a dental fracture. For instance, when you bite down your dental crown may be higher than the rest of your teeth. Or when you chew, your crowned tooth makes contact with the food before your natural teeth. Thus, your dental crown’s bite may seem off or out of alignment with your other teeth. Your dentist may have to buff or reshape your dental crown so the shape is more in sync with your natural bite. This problem is caused if your dentist misjudged your bite before your crown’s specifications were sent to the laboratory or by improper construction such a dental laboratory processing error.
Check for space. Feel the edge of your dental crown. It should fit properly with no gaps or space. However, if not properly fitted, you will feel an open space between your dental crown and the tooth. In addition to an improper fit, a space or gap between the edge of your dental crown and your tooth is a prime area for cavities or further tooth damage.
You can also have a problem with proper fit if your dental crown is too bulk or slim. So you may know that the crown is improperly fitted to your natural tooth if it traps food between teeth or irritates the inside of your cheek.
Tips & Warnings
- Contact you dentist immediately if you notice problems with your dental crown. Prior to visiting the dentist avoid chewy, sticky foods like caramel or chewing gum. These foods may pull off the dental crown. Minimize consumption of hard foods, like raw vegetables, which can loosen or dislodge the crown.