Cracked Porcelain Crown

For the last 16 years I have had four porcelain crowns on my front teeth for a smile makeover. One of them has always had a slight divot. You could feel it if you rubbed your tongue on it (and knew where it was), but it was not visible. Recently, something has changed, I can now see a crack in it where the divot was. Would this be considered a dental emergency? Will it break?


Dear Franny,

While it would not be considered a dental emergency, the way an infected tooth would, I do think you will want to replace this crown sooner rather than later. While minor defects in crowns, such as the divot you mentioned, are fairly common, this crown has changed. The defect seems to have caved. You’ve had the porcelain crowns for a while so it is not completely surprising to me that this happened.

As to replacing this, you can go about it one of two ways. First, because of the age of your crowns, you may want to consider replacing all of them at once. At some point soon, my guess is they are all going to give you problems. If you can afford it, getting them all replaced at once will give you peace of mind and save you multiple trips to the dentist every time another one goes.

If that doesn’t appeal to you, that is fine. Your second option is to just replace this crown that has the problem. If you don’t mind going to the dentist every time a new crown goes, this could be a tad easier on your budget allowing you to spread out the cost on an as needed basis.

I’m a big believer in seeing the silver lining in things. If you choose to replace all the crowns at once, it gives you an opportunity to upgrade your smile. You can have your teeth whitened and then when the new crowns are made, they will look nice and white and shiny, like the color of your natural teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.