What problems can develop with a dental crown?

There are several issues that you might experience over time with your crown, including:

  • 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, you may experience some heat and cold sensitivity. Your dentist might recommend that you brush your teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Pain or sensitivity that happens when you bite down usually means that the crown is too high on the tooth. If this is the case, call your dentist. This problem is easily fixed.
  • Chipped crown: Crowns made of all porcelain can sometimes chip. Small chips can be repaired and the crown can remain in your mouth. The dental crown may need to be replaced if the chip is large or when there are many chips.
  • Loose crown: Sometimes, the cement that holds the crown on can wash 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: A dental crown can actually fall off. When this happens, it’s usually due to an improper fit or a lack of cement. If this happens to you, reach out to your dentist’s office immediately. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your tooth and crown until you can come in for an appointment. The dentist may be able to re-cement your crown in place. If the crown can’t be put back in place, a new crown will need to be made.
  • Allergic reaction: The metals used to make dental crowns are often a mixture of several metals. You can have an allergic reaction to the metal or porcelain that’s used in the dental crown. However, this is extremely rare.
  • Dark line on crowned tooth next to the gum line: You might see a dark line next to the gum line of your crowned tooth. This is normal — particularly if you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. This dark line is simply the metal of the crown showing through.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/14/2020.

References

  • American Dental Association. Crowns. Accessed 8/27/2020.
  • Arvind Shenoy and Nina Shenoy. Dental ceramics: An update. J Conserv Dent. 2010 Oct-Dec; 13(4):195–203.
  • Academy of General Dentistry. What Are Crowns? Accessed 8/27/2020.
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Porcelain Crowns. Accessed 8/27/2020.

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