What problems could develop with a dental crown?

  • Discomfort or sensitivity. A newly crowned tooth may be sensitive immediately after the procedure as the anesthesia begins to wear off. If the crowned tooth still has a nerve in it, there may be some heat and cold sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend that you brush your teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Pain or sensitivity that occurs when you bite down usually means that the crown is too high on the tooth. If this is the case, call your dentist. He or she can easily fix this problem.
  • Chipped crown. Crowns made of all porcelain can sometimes chip. Small chips can be repaired and the crown could remain in the mouth. The crown may need to be replaced if the chip is large or when there are many chips.
  • Loose crown. Sometimes the cement washes out from under the crown. Not only does this allow the crown to become loose, it allows bacteria to leak in and cause decay to the tooth that remains. If your crown feels loose, contact your dentist’s office.
  • Crown falls off. Sometimes crowns fall off. Usually this is due to an improper fit or a lack of cement. If this happens, contact your dentist’s office immediately. He or she will give you specific instructions on how to care for your tooth and crown until you can be seen by your dentist. Your dentist may be able to re-cement your crown in place; if not, a new crown will need to be made.
  • Allergic reaction. Because the metals used to make crowns are usually a mixture of metals, an allergic reaction to the metals or porcelain used in crowns can occur. However, this is extremely rare.
  • Dark line on crowned tooth next to the gum line. A dark line next to the gum line of your crowned tooth is normal, particularly if you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. This dark line is simply the metal of the crown showing through.

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