Theriot Family Dental

Is a Cracked Crown a Dental Emergency?

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I’ve had six porcelain crowns on my upper front teeth for many years. Two have had a small defect from the beginning. It was nothing you could notice from the naked eye, but I could feel them, sort of like a divot. Now, one of them seems to have changed. I can both see it and feel it and it feels different now, more like a crack. I am a little concerned this will break in public. Is this something I need to schedule an emergency appointment for or just a regular one?


Dear Catherine,

Woman Covering Mouth

I would not call this a dental emergency, but you will want to schedule an appointment with your dentist. That one crown which is now displaying a crack will soon break. You have a couple of choices here.

Because your crowns are aging, you can replace all of them at once. This is more expensive but could save you repeated appointments in the future as the crowns go one by one.

Your other option is to just replace this crown, saving you money in the short term. However, you will want to keep a close eye on the remainder of your crowns. You did not say how long you’ve had them, just that you’ve had them for many years, so I would have your dentist look at all of them when you go and give you some idea of their longevity before making that final decision.

If you do decide to get them all replaced at once, it will give you the opportunity to “upgrade” your smile. Over the years, our teeth take on stains no matter how great our oral hygiene is. Before getting all the crowns replaced, you can have your teeth whitened. Then when you get your new crowns, they can be made to match your new whiter color. This simple additional procedure can make you look years younger.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.