Dental fillings and crowns are popular restorative dentistry treatments. They repair teeth that have been damaged due to trauma or decay. Crowns and fillings are not immune to damage, however. When they crack or break, they put your tooth at risk of further damage. After restoring one or more teeth, Dr. Craig S. Kohler can explain some of the most common causes of damaged fillings and crowns to our Wilmette, IL patients. He also provides tips on how to preserve restorations for as long as possible so you can maintain a healthy smile for many years to come.

Dental Fillings vs. Dental Crowns

Although both restorations are used to restore decayed and damaged teeth, dental fillings and crowns are different. When you have a minor cavity, dental fillings are usually the best way to repair the tooth. They are minimally invasive, keeping the majority of your tooth structure in tact.

When damage and decay are more severe, making a filling insufficient, a dental crown is needed. Rather than filling in the empty space, a crown covers the tooth completely. To accommodate the crown, the teeth must be reshaped so the crown can fit over the tooth.

What Causes Damaged Fillings and Crowns?

Despite the durable materials used for these restorations, fillings and crowns are still susceptible to damage. The same things that can damage your healthy teeth can damage these restorations, including:

  • Oral trauma from car accidents, slip and falls, and more
  • Sports injuries, especially from contact sports like hockey and football
  • Chewing on hard objects like pen caps, ice, and your nails
  • Bruxism, or teeth grinding, places excess pressure on your natural and restored teeth, which can cause fractures and other damage
  • General wear over time
  • Poorly crafted or oversized restorations

What to Do if a Restoration Is Damaged

If a crown or filling becomes damaged, you may not know it right away. Slight damage may cause some inconsistent sensitivity. More severe damage could cause constant pain. It could also result in the filling or crown falling out completely. In either case, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment to see Dr. Kohler.

He can evaluate the damage and repair or replace the restoration if needed. Damaged restorations weaken the tooth. Failing to seek treatment for damaged fillings and crowns leaves your tooth at risk of tooth decay, infection, and additional damage.

Dr. Kohler may also ask questions about the incident that caused the damage. If there was no single incident, he may evaluate your other teeth for signs of wear or erosion. For patients who grind their teeth, he may recommend a custom-made nightguard. This will protect your healthy teeth and your restorations from further damage.

Repair Your Smile Today

Whether you suffered oral trauma or your tooth has begun causing pain or sensitivity, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kohler today. He can determine the extent of damage sustained and recommend appropriate treatment options.