A dental bridge or crown that breaks can lead to a number of complications. Some problems are relatively minor and can be treated at a later date, while others require immediate attention to minimize damage and prevent future harm to the rest of your mouth.
Accidents, excessive pressure and poor oral hygiene are all ways that a dental bridge or crown can become damaged. Here’s what you should do if this happens to you:
1. Call Your Dentist
There is never a good time to break your dental crown or bridge. But the sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances of avoiding serious complications.
Calling your dentist as soon as you discover the damage can help them provide valuable advice over the phone for how to manage symptoms until you see them in person. For instance, they may recommend that you apply pressure to the area with a piece of gauze to stop any bleeding and prevent it from getting worse.
The dentist may also advise you to save any broken pieces of the crown or bridge and bring them with you to the appointment so they can examine them for more information on what happened. This can also help your dentist decide on the best way to proceed with repairing or replacing the broken bridge or crown. They can check the structure of your underlying teeth to see if they are strong enough to support the restoration.
2. Save Your Crown or Bridge
When a tooth’s decay or damage has reached the point where a simple filling is no longer enough, dentists often recommend that patients get dental crowns or bridges. These are essentially caps, made of ceramic porcelain, that fit over remaining tooth structure and protect it from further damage.
While these are very durable solutions, they are not indestructible, and they will sometimes need to be repaired or replaced. In many cases, these issues aren’t quite emergencies, but they still need to be addressed quickly so that patients can continue to enjoy healthy smiles.
When a dental bridge or crown breaks, it’s essential that the adhesive inside is cleaned off as thoroughly as possible before it dries out completely. It’s best to use a non-eugenol product like denture adhesive, or a small amount of water, when doing this. Otherwise, it’s likely that the adhesive will dry out before you can get to the dentist to have your restoration re-seated.
3. Visit Your Dentist as Soon as Possible
A bridge or crown that is broken or fractured may still be repairable if there is enough natural tooth structure left. Until you get to the dentist, it is best not to chew on it as the weakened tooth structure might break further apart or even fall out entirely.
It is also important not to try to clean or manipulate the broken part of the dental work as you could damage the abutments that anchor it in place. If the abutments are damaged you will need to have a root canal or another treatment to restore them before a new bridge can be placed.
When a bridge or crown is broken it is important to contact your dentist right away for advice about how urgent the situation is. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be necessary to come in for emergency treatment or you may need to wait a day or two until you can schedule a regular appointment.
4. Bring Your Crown or Bridge with You
Dental crowns and bridges are long-lasting solutions to many oral health issues. They help people restore teeth that are damaged, crooked, uneven or broken and eliminate gaps between teeth that can lead to bone deterioration and tooth decay.
Dental bridges fill in the spaces left by missing teeth, preventing adjacent teeth from shifting and tipping and restoring a natural bite pattern. They also improve the appearance of a smile that may have been compromised by missing or severely damaged teeth.
Even though dental crowns and bridges can withstand some wear and tear, extreme pressure may cause them to crack or break. If this happens, it is important to call your dentist immediately so they can repair the damage before it worsens. It is also a good idea to bring any pieces of the broken crown or bridge with you, so they can examine them and assess further damage. This will help them determine whether or not the supporting teeth can continue to support the restoration.