Why does my dental crown keep breaking?
November 11, 2012 1:38 AM   Subscribe

My dental crown has cracked and broken three times in as many years. Thoughts on how to proceed?

I had a root canal done on my upper second molar just over three years ago. During that time, the porcelain crown that I received has cracked and broken three times (the third time being today).
My dentist has replaced the crown for free each time, and made me a mouth guard to wear as he reasons that cause for the excessive wear is grinding my teeth during sleep (which my wife can attest to). It doesn't seem to have helped.
Any advice on where to go from here when I meet my dentist next week? A change of crown material, perhaps? Proven methods of dealing with teeth grinding at night?
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would be going to a new dentist.
posted by Flood at 4:29 AM on November 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

I second going to a new dentist.

You might also think about getting to grips with your bruxalism. It's easy to ignore, because it happens in your sleep; however, maybe now's the time to tackle the causes, before you break crown number 4.

Finally, there's always dentures.
posted by The River Ivel at 5:49 AM on November 11, 2012

I had a dentist who put faulty sealants on me when I was a kid; my next dentist pointed out to me that these sealants caused me several cavities.

Go to a new dentist. Some dentists suck at certain procedures, plain and simple.
posted by krakus at 6:06 AM on November 11, 2012

Second upper molars (the ones before the wisdom teeth) aren't going to show when you smile so what about a full gold crown?
posted by elsietheeel at 6:56 AM on November 11, 2012

Aren't crowns supposed to be short enough that they don't (or just barely) touch your lower tooth? Seems like if you are grinding on it, it's too tall. I have a gold crown on my upper right second molar and it has never given me any trouble (nor is it particularly visible, although I can show it to people if I want). And it's my (limited) understanding that gold crowns are strongly recommended for people who grind their teeth, because porcelain crowns just can't take it.

But your dentist should know this stuff! I agree a change of dentist is in order.
posted by mskyle at 9:11 AM on November 11, 2012

Yes, mskyle has it. I broke one porcelain crown and my dentist said that as a grinder I would probably just keep breaking them so it was best to move to gold. I have a gold crown, have not broken it yet.
posted by it's a long way to south america at 9:14 AM on November 11, 2012

I had repeat problems with one crown. I switched to a different dentist and no problems since then.
posted by dottiechang at 12:23 PM on November 11, 2012

I had a tooth that needed treatment like this after a bike accident. After numerous trips to the dentist I simply had it pulled out.

I wish I'd done it to begin with, dentists have a huge aversion to removing teeth but I really haven't had any trouble with simply having a gap.
posted by deadwax at 9:16 PM on November 11, 2012

Go for the gold.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 5:20 AM on November 12, 2012

It's hard to make a solid call on this without seeing the tooth, but i would guess that the shape of the tooth under the crown is incorrect. either there is a shape that is causing stress on the bond between the porcelain and the undercasting or the tooth has not been reduced enough to allow clearance and consequently the material of the crown is too thin.
One failure should have required a re-evaluation of the prep, 3 failures would be more than enough reason to seek care elsewhere.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:20 AM on November 12, 2012

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