Why Would You Need a New Dental Crown?


Unfortunately, dental crowns may not last forever. Yes, you paid a lot of money and sat through a longer appointment than you might have wanted. But the reality is that over time, the crown can deteriorate.

One condition that can cause deterioration is that decay develops under or around the crown. Once the margin of the crown (the place where the natural tooth structure and the dental crown meet) is violated with decay, the decay must be removed and a new crown fabricated. Left untreated, the decay can spread so far that a root canal may be needed, or even worse, the tooth would have to be extracted.

Another condition is if the porcelain breaks on the crown. If there is a small amount, it can be smoothed. But if it is so large that food always gets stuck between the teeth, a new crown is the recommended treatment. To prevent this from happening again, the dentist may recommend a material like gold or zirconium that doesn’t break, or a combination of metal with porcelain with metal being placed in the high contact areas between the teeth or on strong biting surfaces.

If you have old crowns of front teeth, the recession of the teeth that comes with aging can now make the margin of the crown visible. If this is unsightly, new crowns may be indicated for esthetic purposes.

Sometimes the crowns need to be replaced after a root canal. Usually a filling can be placed where the access for the root canal is done, but on occasion the porcelain might chip or there might be some other structural problem with the crown where a new one is recommended.

I am personally conservative in my treatment planning. On occasion when someone has decay on the part of the crown toward the face and the filling is small, a filling can be placed thereby saving the crown. This does not work well with very large decay where a replacement crown is indicated.