How Can Dental Crowns Go Bad?

What Should I Know About Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are strong and durable replacements for natural crowns that have been decayed or damaged. They last 5 to 15 years, or go for as long as 25 years or a lifetime. Sometimes, long-standing crowns can get damaged. A new crown may cause discomfort or pain right after it’s fitted. Let’s look at instances when a good crown goes bad.


Cavities can develop at the borders of the crown that meet natural tooth structure. Decay can spread and involve the pulp, including the nerve tissue which can be infected. Hence, you feel the inflammation and pain. Root death is when pulp tissue dies after it gets infected and which can spread outside the roots, compromising surrounding soft tissue.

On the other hand, gum issues may also affect dental crowns. Receding gums can expose the roots leading to sensitivity; receded gums are highly prone to developing plaque buildup, which can lead to a painful gum infection. This in turn may compromise the entire tooth, the crown included.

Wear and Tear

Bad oral habits can apply extra pressure on dental crowns. Using your crown to bite on hard objects, to open packages, to bite your fingernails, or chew on ice can cause cracks or chips to appear on the crown surface. If you clench or grind your teeth, awake or asleep, you put added strain on crowns as well. Bite changes can also wear down the appliance, like if the crown was incorrectly fitted causing an uneven bite when opposing teeth occlude. It can cause pain and sensitivity, the crown may even break or crack under undue pressure.

Dental Materials Failure

Because dental cements that glue the crown in place are acidic or rely on acidic primers, they can irritate the nerve in a tooth. The tooth can become temperature sensitive or even painful. This usually lasts a few days, but can persist for up to a year. Sometimes the cement fails to bond properly, resulting in the crown moving or even coming off. This may also cause pain in a crowned tooth. Another cause of pain comes from previous fillings, particularly those made from silver, may have had leakages resulting in bacteria infecting the nerve root.

What Course of Action Can I Take if This Happens?

If you experience pain under your newly installed crown, causing you discomfort, and you think is taking too long to resolve, see your dentist right away. It might be an ill-fitting crown causing a bite issue, your dentist can make filing adjustments.

If it is a dental material failure, a shift to another dental cement and assuring proper bonding. Early diagnosis and treatment of problems in a crowned tooth offers the best chance of saving the tooth. For wear and tear issues, your dentist will tell you to avoid putting pressure on your teeth via certain habits.

Likewise, the dentist may recommend a mouthguard if you have bruxism, or redo the crown if the previous was ill-fitting. Finally, your dentist will reiterate just how to avoid tooth decay – proper oral hygiene.