What to do if your dental implant crown breaks?
Dental implants are one of the most recommended solutions for replacing missing teeth. The visible part of the implant is the crown, usually made of porcelain, ceramic, certain metals, or a combination of metal and porcelain. Just like real teeth they can get broken, cracked or chipped.
Parts of a Dental Implant
It is important to understand that dental implants are composed of three main parts, the implant, the abutment and the crown. The implant is a post that is surgically placed in the jawbone and works as a root. The abutment is the piece that unites the implant and the crown. Implants can last a lifetime given the correct care and crowns last around 15 years before needing to be changed.
What can break your dental implant crown?
There are different situations that can lead to a broken or loosen crown, such as:
- Chewing hard things such as pens or ice.
- Eating crunchy or tough food, like candy.
- Grinding your teeth
- Loosen implant
- Damaged abutment
- Implant failure
It is common for patients to forget that their implants are not their real teeth and putting them under certain pressure, such as biting hard objects, can lead to a broken crown. That is why it is important to keep that in mind.
Grinding your teeth while sleeping is a medical condition known as bruxism. This unconscious habit can wear out the implant and modify its structure.
A damaged abutment can happen due to different reasons. Time can wear out the cement used to place it, trauma can affect it, and many more reasons. However, it is one of the easiest problems to solve.
A loose implant might be reflected in a loose crown, and if this happens it is necessary to visit your dentist as soon as possible since a new implant might possibly be required. The spot in the jawbone can be reused but in some cases, bone grafting could be required. For an implant to get loose, the patient might have suffered a trauma, or maybe it was caused by dental implant failure. In any of these cases, visiting a dentist as soon as it is noticed is highly recommended.
What to do if it gets broken?
If you notice your dental implant crown is cracked all the pieces should be gathered and kept until your visit to the dentist. A broken crown is not considered an emergency unless it harms the soft tissue around it. If there is bleeding, a gauze in the affected zone will help to stop it. Rinsing your mouth with saltwater won’t hurt and will clean the mouth. However, once the patient is aware, you should call his or her doctor immediately so that he can analyze the case and tell the best treatment.
In case it is chipped or cracked, it can be easily solved with a composite or by reshaping and smoothing the crown. Unfortunately, the vast majority needs a new crown. If it is needed, the patient’s mouth is scanned with a 3D scanner to design a customized crown that perfectly fits.
In case your implant falls with your crown, rush to your dentist. But if your crown is loose it might help take it off since it can be swallowed if it gets off unexpectedly.
How to avoid crown accidents?
There are a lot of ways to avoid loose and cracked crowns. Proper oral hygiene is key to avoiding mouth infections, periodontitis, etc, which can lead to a dental implant failure. Also, regular visits to your dentist are essential. Being aware of how fragile your implant crown is, is important to be careful with your daily habits.
The healing period is when you should be most careful because if during this time you apply pressure to the implant zone it might not blend correctly with the bone and end in an implant failure in the near future.
In case you suffer from bruxism, there are mouthguards that prevent this condition to harm your teeth. Also, in case you play any sport, sports mouthguards are useful to protect not only your implant but also the rest of your teeth.
Are you suffering from a broken or loose crown?
If your dental implant crown is loose or cracked, a specialist should check it as soon as possible. So schedule an appointment with an Esteem doctor near you, and see the best treatment for you!