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Cracked Crown
February 22, 2011 11:57 PM   Subscribe

2 years ago I had a root canal performed on my second molar. Today the crown cracked and a piece fell off. Could this be cause by excessive grinding?

I know that I grind my teeth at night because my wife complains about it constantly and I sometimes awake in the middle of the night with my teeth clenched. Is that enough to crack and damage a crown that was supposed to last 10-15 years?
Also, is the crown salvageable or will I need an entirely new crown fashioned when I visit my dentist?
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
 
"Could this be cause by excessive grinding?"

Yes, it could. But it could also be a bad or worn out crown, or something wrong with what's left of the tooth underneath.

After root canals, the tooth itself is functionally different than before a root canal. It's dead, basically, and becomes more brittle with time. This can certainly effect the general success of the crown itself.

While there are several different types of crowns out there, you'll almost certainly want a new one if the old one broke, especially when it broke so early. I would personally see whether you can negotiate a lower price for the crown, because even if you're grinding, two years seems like an unreasonably short life span. It may have been flawed in some way, too high, or simply not mounted well.

Your dentist can offer up a strategy for how to deal with excessive grinding during your sleep. I'd talk to them about it.
posted by markkraft at 12:15 AM on February 23, 2011


It could be caused by many things. But, if you grind your teeth loud enough that your wife can hear, then that is likely the cause.

Do you still have the broken crown that fell out? A dentist can usually identify grinding on a tooth or a crown. If you show him the crown, he might be able to answer the question.
posted by Flood at 5:12 AM on February 23, 2011


I've had crowns come off before. Provided you haven't actually damaged the crown itself your dentist can simply clean things up and re-glue it into place. They may use a different adhesive if the previous one only lasted two years.

I also grind my teeth. This is one of the reasons I have a number of crowns on molars. It's also the reason I have TMJ. Tell your dentist about it and they can work with you on dealing with it. I wear a custom-fitted mouth guard at night that keep my teeth apart but that's just one of the many solutions. Don't let it go untreated.
posted by tommasz at 5:20 AM on February 23, 2011


I've cracked my own teeth by grinding, so it's possible to crack a crown, which I've also accomplished.

Talk to your dentist about a nightguard. It is nerdy, and a little expensive (mine was about $600, but I don't have insurance). However, it costs way less than root canals and crowns (in economic costs, emotional pain, and time).
posted by k8lin at 1:07 PM on February 23, 2011


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