Tags Posts tagged with "Gold Crowns"

Gold Crowns

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Why Crown Fell Off
©Alex Mit/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever bit into a sticky piece of candy only to find out that the candy grabbed the crown that your dentist just put on your tooth?

Gold Crown Fell OffIf so, you’re not alone!  Many people lose crowns from their teeth.  A crown that fell off is a common “emergency” that we see at the dental school.

You may be curious why your crown fell off.  To satisfy your curiosity, I’ve written this article to let you know about some of the reasons that crowns fall off teeth.

Six Reasons Why Your Crown Fell Off

1 – The tooth underneath the crown got decayed. Many people think that when they get a crown, their tooth is bulletproof.  Crowned teeth can get cavities!  The cavities usually occur right at the junction of the crown and the tooth along the gum-line.  In this case, your dentist will evaluate the tooth to see if it is able to hold a new crownyou will most likely need a new crown made

2 – The cement holding the crown on wasn’t strong enough. This could be due to contamination of the cement while it was being prepared or any number of other reasons.  If this is the case, your dentist can usually re-cement the crown back ont your tooth.

3 – You ate too many chewy foods. As you can see in the picture above, one jelly belly was all it took for Bev Sykes’ crown to fall off of her tooth!  Over time, sticky foods can gradually work a crown loose.  When the crown is pulled off by sticky food, it can usually be re-cemented onto the tooth.

4 – The crown broke. In some instances, due to lots of force, the crown can break and fall off the tooth.  Sometimes a crown can gradually form a crack that eventually loosens the crown’s seal with the tooth and knocks it loose.

5 – You abused your crown. Maybe you used your teeth as tools, or you ended up putting unnatural stresses on the crown by grinding your teeth.   In any case, when you subject your crown to unnatural forces, you stress the bond that holds the crown to the tooth.

6 – There wasn’t enough tooth structure to hold onto the crown. Sometimes the teeth are so short that when dentists prepare them for a crown, there’s not much tooth left for the crown to “grab on to” when it is finally in place.  This is more common in back teeth that have been worn down over years of use and are short.

Conclusion

There they are!  If your crown fell off, it was most likely due to one of the reasons mentioned above.  It is always best to go see your dentist when a crown falls off.  If you can’t make it to your dentist in a timely manner, they may recommend that you pick up some temporary crown cement from your local pharmacy to hold the crown on until you can be seen at the dental office.

Do you have any questions about crowns and why they fall off?  I’d love to hear any questions or comments you may have in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

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Cavity Under a Dental Crown
©Giorgiomtb/Shutterstock.com

A reader recently asked me if it was possible to get a cavity on a tooth once it has been crowned.  Although it seems logical that a crown covering the tooth would prevent this, that is not the case.  A tooth with a crown can get a cavity!

Gold Dental Crown

Can You Get a Cavity on a Tooth With a Crown?

When a dentist makes a crown for you, he or she will remove all of the tooth decay or cavity that was present.  The dentist then cuts around the whole tooth so that a crown can fit over the remaining tooth structure and still appear to be a normal-sized tooth.  The crown/tooth interface is usually right around the gum-line.

That means that you still have tooth structure in your mouth that is below the crown.  If you aren’t brushing and flossing to remove the plaque that lives under the gum-line, you can get another cavity on the same tooth.

What Happens When You Get a Cavity on a Tooth With a Crown?

When you get a cavity on a tooth with a crown, there are a few things that can happen:

1 – If the cavity goes too close to the pulp, you may have to have a root canal done if you haven’t had one yet.
2 – You may need a procedure done known as crown lengthening. Crown lengthening means taking away some of the bone that supports your tooth so that there is room for the dentist to remove all of the cavity and still prepare the tooth for a crown.
3 – You may have to have the tooth pulled if the decay has spread too far into the tooth.
4 – If you keep the tooth, you will most likely need a new crown made.

The procedures listed abovet are all quite costly (aside from pulling the tooth.) Hopefully that will motivate you to keep your crowned teeth clean and in pristine condition!

Conclusion

Do you have any questions, comments, or experiences to share about crowned teeth and tooth decay?  Leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Gold Dental Crown
©RCB Shooter/Shutterstock.com

Recently, a reader asked how gold could be used in the mouth when it is so soft.  It would seem like the high forces that occur doing chewing would alter the gold filling or crown.  Since composite fillings and amalgam fillings are so much harder, wouldn’t they last longer?

A Gold Inlay Filling - Photo Copyright by Dr. Thomas FrisciaTechnically, the reader is correct.  If gold were used in its pure form, it wouldn’t be strong enough to serve as a good dental restorative material for inlays and crowns.

When the term “Gold” is used in dentistry, it is usually describing an alloy that contains gold.  An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals that have atomically bonded together.

When gold is put into the mouth as crowns or indirect fillings, it is found as an alloy.  The gold found in your mouth is usually combined with silver, copper, platinum, palladium, and/or zinc.

There is a very uncommon exception: direct gold fillings.  Direct gold fillings are pure gold.  The dentist simply condenses very fine sheets of gold into your tooth and they weld together at room temperature.  These fillings aren’t very strong, but they are an excellent choice for areas on your teeth that don’t need to withstand lots of force.  Direct gold fillings are rarely done today due to its high cost, sensitive technique, and the availability of newer, more esthetic composite filling materials.  More than likely, if you’ve had a gold filling, it was made at a lab and is a gold alloy.

Here is a Youtube Video that explains this concept:

 

Since the gold in your mouth is not pure gold, it might not be worth as much as you think.  You may want to think twice before selling your gold fillings to make some money in this down economy!

Do you have any questions about gold fillings or crowns? Leave them in the comments below!