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Is A Cracked Porcelain Crown a Dental Emergency


Is A Cracked Porcelain Crown a Dental Emergency

Posted by writeradmin

I’ve had six porcelain crowns for about twelve years. One of them has always had a small defect but had not been a problem. You could not even see it with the naked eye. Something has changed. Now I can see it with the naked eye as well as feel it with my tongue. The line is horizontal and the tooth looks fractured. I am afraid that this is going to break in public. Would this be considered a dental emergency that I need to fix right away or can it wait a bit? Also, will I have to replace all of them or just the broken one?


Dear Joe,

Woman covering her mouth

Many porcelain crowns have these minor defects known as craze lines. As you mentioned earlier, they are rarely a problem. However, you’ve had a material change in yours. This will break at some point, but I would not consider it a dental emergency. You won’t need to go in right away, but I would schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

Your crowns are twelve years old. They may still be perfectly fine and not even close to needing to be replaced. I’d have your dentist look at them. However, if he or she says they need to all be replaced at the same time in order to ensure they match, that is not the case. This would be more a reflection of their cosmetic skills than a real requirement. I would have someone else do the work in that case.

If the crowns are still okay but getting to where they may need to be replaced soon, then you have a choice. You can do them all at once, which will save you time but be a larger initial expense. Or, you can wait and replace them one at a time as they fail. That spreads out the cost financially, but eats up a lot of your time. You’ll have to determine which of those are more important depending on where you are financially at this time.

If you decide to replace them all simultaneously, this could also be a good opportunity to “upgrade” your smile by having teeth whitening done. Then, when you get your new crowns they can be matched to your more youthful color.

This blog is brought to you by Mt. Dora Dentist Dr. Michelle Stillman.