Should A Loose Dental Crown Be Replaced?

Porcelain dental crowns are often described as being permanent, but this isn't entirely accurate. Once a tooth has been fitted with a crown, it will always need this extra reinforcement. But the crown itself won't last forever. Don't worry—you won't exactly be needing a new crown on a regular basis. With care, a porcelain crown can last for 10 to 15 years. That being said, there may be times when it feels like your crown is giving up ahead of schedule.

Loose Crowns

A loose dental crown isn't necessarily a crown that has come to the end of its service life. In any event, it's not as though a crown loosens to demonstrate that it's been in place for many years and now needs to be replaced. Loose crowns may still be perfectly intact and functional, and it's more likely that something has happened to disrupt the connection to the tooth beneath it.

Tooth Preparation

You may remember the preparation your tooth needed to have a crown fitted over it. If the crown was fitted to the tooth as-is, the tooth would be far too bulky, placing pressure on neighboring teeth, and perhaps even making it difficult to properly close your jaw. This is why a dental crown specialist fractionally reduces the size of the tooth by removing a wafer-thin layer of dental enamel. When the crown is then cemented over the tooth, the crown and its tooth are the optimal size. 

Dental Cement

The dental cement used to place the crown is intended to be as long-lasting as the crown itself. Things don't always work out this way. Bio-mechanical forces (produced by biting and chewing) exert pressure on the crown, as well as on the natural tooth beneath it, with the dental cement also experiencing subsequent tension. Over time, the cement's bond may weaken, with the crown then becoming loose.

Further Decay

Dental cement may not be at fault. The crown might have initially been added to the tooth due to extensive decay. If further degradation has occurred beneath the crown, the outline of the tooth could have changed, so the crown cannot effectively grip onto the tooth. This is another reason why a crown can feel loose. But you're unable to determine the cause without assistance, so see a dentist as soon as possible.

Loose crowns are usually a quick fix. It might be as simple as applying new dental cement to hold the crown in place. Sometimes the tooth will need to have any new decay removed before a crown can be replaced. But a loose dental crown will continue to detach from the tooth, so you must see a dentist for prompt treatment.

For more information about dental crowns, contact a local dental office.