Can Dental Crowns Be Repaired or Replaced? Options for Damaged Crowns

Can Dental Crowns Be Repaired or Replaced? Options for Damaged Crowns

Apr 01, 2024

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are settled over teeth to restore their shape, appearance, and function. But like natural teeth, crowns can become damaged or worn down over time. If you have a damaged dental crown, you may wonder whether it can be repaired or if it needs to be entirely replaced. Let’s explore the options for fixing or replacing damaged dental crowns.

When do dental crowns need to be repaired or replaced?

There are a few common reasons why dental crowns near you may require repair or replacement:

  • Fractures or cracks in the porcelain or metal crown can happen over time from biting or chewing, especially on hard foods. Cracks allow bacteria to get underneath the crown and cause decay.
  • Worn edges that cause the crown to not fit properly against adjacent teeth. This can lead to food and debris getting trapped underneath.
  • Loss of a crown that has fallen off due to decay or improper fitting. This leaves the prepared tooth vulnerable.
  • Unsightly discoloration, especially for front teeth crowns. This is common with porcelain crowns as the bonding underneath begins to show through.
  • Receding gums that expose the crown margins look unattractive. The exposed rough edges also trap more plaque.

If you notice any of these crown problems or other damage, see your dentist immediately to prevent further tooth decay or other dental issues.

Can a damaged crown be repaired or restored?

In some cases, minor damage to a crown can be repaired without entirely replacing it. Here are some possible crown restoration options:

  • Porcelain re-glazing – This chemically bonds a new outer layer of glassy porcelain over the existing crown to refresh the color and smooth over cracks or rough edges.
  • Porcelain patching – To patch it, small porcelain fragments can be bonded over chips or cracks in a porcelain crown.
  • Crown lengthening – If receding gums expose crown margins, your dentist can trim and reshape the excess crown.
  • Re-cementing – If a crown is intact but simply detached, re-cementing it firmly back in place may do the trick.

These repairs can extend the lifespan of a crown for months or years before needing replacement. But significant damage like fractures or ill-fitting crowns still requires an entirely new crown.

What are the options if the crown cannot be repaired?

A replacement crown is needed if your damaged dental crown is beyond repair or restoration. You have a couple of options:

  • Get a new crown – This involves removing the old crown, removing a unique impression, and getting a new laboratory-crafted crown. It’s the most thorough and long-lasting option.
  • Have the existing crown refabricated – Sometimes, your dentist can remove the original crown and send it to a lab to scrub it, reshape, and re-lay it with new porcelain or bonded composite material. This costs less than a new crown but may only last briefly.
  • Use a temporary crown – If cost is a concern, a resin-based temporary crown can be made in your dentist’s office to cover the prepared tooth. It won’t be as durable or aesthetic as a permanent crown.

Your Restorative Dentistry In San Jose, CA, will advise you about the best solution available based on the extent of the damage, oral health, and budget. Damaged front teeth crowns typically require higher quality replacement crowns than back teeth.

Is a new crown always necessary to fix a damaged one?

While minor damage can be repaired, a completely new crown is usually required once a dental crown is significantly cracked, worn down, or compromised. Here’s why:

  • The underlying structural integrity of the crown is likely weakened even if repairs can disguise outer damage. It may soon split or break off entirely with daily chewing forces.
  • Attempting to glue fragments back in place is a temporary fix that won’t withstand biting and eating. Cracks will likely worsen.
  • Reshaping and re-glazing maintain the original compromised crown material. A new crown starts fresh with an intact foundation.
  • Dental labs can create new crowns with tighter, more precise fits to your prepared tooth structure than trying to adjust an old, ill-fitting crown.
  • New dental crown technology and materials improve longevity compared to crowns made 5, 10, or 20 years ago.

While a crown replacement process takes time and costs more initially, a new crown is the best permanent solution for significantly damaged crowns or ones that can’t be adequately restored otherwise.

How long do repaired crowns last compared to new crowns?

The lifespan of a repaired dental crown depends on the extent of damage and quality of the repair:

  • Minor re-glazing or re-cementing may last 1-2 years.
  • Porcelain patches and extensive re-layering may last five years.
  • Crown lengthening for gum recession could last 7-10 years.

A brand-new dental crown typically lasts:

  • 10-15 years for porcelain fused metal crowns.
  • 10-20 years for all-porcelain crowns.
  • 5-10 years for porcelain veneered metal crowns.

With optimal oral care and regular dental checkups, new crowns should last you upwards of a decade before needing replacement again. Repairs can buy you more time, but a new crown is the best permanent solution when your current crown fails.

What are the costs of crown repairs vs. replacement crowns?

Crown repairs are typically less expensive than a brand-new replacement crown:

  • Minor repairs like re-cementing or re-glazing may cost $100-$250.
  • Porcelain patching or extensive re-layering may cost $250-$500.
  • Crown lengthening for gum recession may cost $600-$1,200 per crown.

Depending on the material used, a new custom-made crown costs $800-$3,000 or more. However, don’t let cost determine the best solution for your damaged crown alone. A replacement crown is more thorough and will give you a fresh start. Evaluate the options with your dentist to choose the right solution.

Don’t Wait with a Damaged Crown

If you notice any problems with an existing dental crown, schedule an appointment immediately with your dentist in West San Jose at Neeshat Khan DDS. They can examine the crown damage and discuss whether repairs or a complete replacement crown is the best option in your case. Leaving a compromised crown in place too long risks tooth decay and other expensive dental work. Protect your restored tooth and your smile with prompt care for damaged crowns.



Book an Appointment

© 2024 Neeshat S. Khan, DDS | Privacy Policy | Web Design, Digital Marketing & SEO By Adit
408-777-1290 Book Appointment
Click to listen highlighted text!