In the world of restorative dentistry, few options are as impressive or versatile as the dental crown. Capable of easily assisting damaged, decayed, or otherwise compromised teeth, dental crowns are durable and capable of enduring for upwards of 10 or so years before needing to be replaced. However, how are you supposed to know when the time comes to replace your dental crown? Here are four signs that your dentist thinks you should keep an eye out for so that you can ensure your restoration is replaced when necessary.
1. Obvious Signs of Wear
No dental solution is designed to last forever, and after a while, you might notice that your crown appears somewhat worn down or damaged, especially around the edges. This won’t just compromise the crown’s overall functionality, though—it’ll also make it stick out like a sore thumb! Sometimes this wear and tear is the result of the crown’s old age, but other times, it might indicate a more serious concern like bruxism, gum disease, or decay that’s resulted from chronically poor oral hygiene.
2. Gum Recession Around the Crowned Tooth
If you notice your gum tissue beginning to pull away from your crowned tooth, it likely means there’s an issue with how the crown’s sitting. It could also indicate that there’s gum disease that requires treatment. Believe it or not, bacteria are more likely to gather around a tooth with a crown than to colonize a natural tooth, making good oral hygiene an even more important need if you have a dental crown.
3. Your Bite Feels “Off”
When your crown is first fitted, it’s meant to feel completely normal and not inhibit your bite pattern at all. However, if your bite begins to feel uneven over time, something might’ve occurred with your crown that’s causing things to feel a little awkward. This usually means that your crown needs to be readjusted or replaced.
4. Pain or Swelling Around the Crown
Broken or cracked crowns may expose the underlying tooth and can cause pain, swelling, or tenderness around the area. In the case of a fractured or damaged crown, it’s imperative to restore its integrity so it can continue to protect the tooth. It’s possible that the crown was placed too high, which can also cause pain or sensitivity when chewing. Depending on the circumstances and the extent of the damage, the crown might be easily repaired with a quick buffing—or it may require replacement.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury received his DDS from the Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas and has proudly served patients and families in the Tyler, TX community for several decades. His practice offers a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative options including dental crowns. If you have any questions about the article or believe that you have a crown in need of replacement, don’t hesitate to contact the practice online or over the phone for further assistance: (903) 561-1122.