Surely cracking or fracturing your porcelain dental crown is a major problem? Surprisingly, there's no major dental crisis happening in your mouth, and although you shouldn't procrastinate about going to see your dentist, the damage can be reversed with speed and efficiency.

Receiving Your Crown

You no doubt remember when your dental crown was fitted. The tooth that received the crown had to be reduced in size via the removal of some of its surface enamel (otherwise the crown would have made the tooth too large). The porcelain crown could have been made at the dental clinic while you waited, or it may have been made in a specialist dental laboratory, with your dentist giving you a temporary acrylic crown in the meantime. But now it seems that after the crack or fracture, your permanent dental crown isn't as permanent as you thought.

Elevated Sensitivity 

It's important not to wait too long to see a dentist. There's no immediate danger to your tooth, but you may note that it has become more sensitive now that it has lost the all-encompassing protection of the crown. There's also a considerable risk of the crack slowly deepening, after which, yes, you will definitely need a replacement porcelain crown, with the expense this entails.

Outer Porcelain

When a crack is superficial and primarily affects the surface of the crown, the outer porcelain can be repaired. The crown doesn't even have to be removed. Think of it this way: the surfaces of your teeth are made of dental enamel (a highly-mineralized compound). If you should crack a tooth or experience some other form of structural damage (like decay), your dentist doesn't replace the deficient enamel with more enamel. They use an artificial enamel substitute, which in this case, is composite resin—a tooth-colored dental acrylic. 

Surface Damage

The same process is applied when porcelain dental crowns experience surface damage. A porcelain tooth restoration doesn't need to be repaired with porcelain. The crack or fracture may be modified with a handheld dental bur to promote the adhesion of the resin, and then the damage is patched, smoothed, and dried. A bur can be used again to remove any excess resin, allowing the resin to blend into the porcelain it's now integrated with. 

Delaying repairs to your dental crown can be an uncomfortable and ultimately expensive mistake, as the crack may deepen to the point that the crown's damage is irreversible. But as long as you see your dentist soon after noting the damage, your porcelain crown (with some resin repairs) will be as good as new.

For more information on dental crowns, contact a professional near you.