Why Do Crowns Break?

How soon should a crown be repaired before other factors, like decay or further things become an issue?

Doctor Answers 8

Breaking crowns

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Crowns can break for many reasons, but usually it is a material failure.  The forces that a persons bite creates exceeds the maximum load of the material, so the kind of crown chosen needs to be chosen well.  Even a well chosen material can fail as well if the crown isn't bonded correctly too.


Once broken, it should be replaced ASAP.  They cannot be repaired.

Broken Crown

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A good questions is why does a crown break???? There are many reasons a crown breaks. They main reason usually has to do the bite (how your teeth come together). Your upper and lower jaw can generate a tremendous amout of biting force. This causes stress on the natural teeth as well as anything man made i.e. fillings or crowns. If you have extreme wear and tear, decay, or cracks in your teeth, this can cause your  teeth to fail. If there is a bite discrepancy, or you grind your teeth, or clench your teeth, this can cause your crowns to fail.  Many times it takes getting your bite right in order for you to get your dentistry to last along time.  Proper home care and regular dental visits can help determine many of these things before your teeth or crowns break.  You should get your broken crown replaced failly quickly, as it can become a food trap or it could affect your bite, and lead to more problems.

James Merrett, DDS
San Antonio Dentist


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Crowns well procesed by the lab do not usually break.

The bite registration called oclusio nis very important when you take impression for a crown. If the bite registration is not correct than the crown fitting is not correct.An incorrect bite creates high spots on the crown. When the patient bites he will hit first the crown.If that is not corrected the porcelain will break eventually.

Antoaneta Barba, DDS
Santa Ana Dentist

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Broken or Fractured Crowns and what to do!

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Dental Crowns can break or fracture for a number of reasons. Sometimes forces applied to a Crown or tooth can be excessive . Other times its possible that the Crown failed due to less than ideal tooth preparation causing the Restoration to lack Structural  Durability even when normal biting forces are applied to it.  Whatever the cause of failure is though its most important to gain an immediate replacement before more problems develop. Fractured Crowns can lead to open contacts allowing for food to wedge in between your teeth causing acute Periodontal or gum irritation. Over a period of time this can lead to even more serious Periodontal problems such as Bone Loss and unhealthy gum pockets to form. Broken or Fractured Crowns can also lead to recurrent decay over periods of time. A fractured Crown should be replaced as soon as possible!

Howard Perlmutter, DMD
Paramus Dentist

Why Do Crowns Break?

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Crowns can break for a number of reasons. The forces that can crack a natural tooth still exist even after you have a crown placed. A dentist that knows you well can advise you on what type of crown you ought to choose to minimize the chance of a problem with a crown.


In the past you would have had to choose between a white (porcelain) crown or a gold or white gold crown. Now with high-strength ceramics like Zirconia and others, you can have a white crown on any tooth with high strength. Crown types like Lava or eMax are brands that have very high strength.


Make sure your dentist checks the balance and precision of your bite as well. Sometime part of the issue is the tooth biting against the chipped one. The alignment of the two working together is what creates a great result. An experienced cosmetic dentist ought to be able to make a great looking crown, and one that is long-lasting and almost completely trouble free.

Crowns last a long time

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Simply put, If your crown is broken , there is a reason behind it that needs attention. This means immediate care. See a dentist as soon as possible. It is not only a matter of how long before other problems arise, it is the fact that there IS a problem  "right now"  that needs your attention BECAUSE your crown broke.

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

When to Replace a Broken Crown?

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Once you have a crown that has broken, you should get it replaced as soon as you can.  You can only cause more problems by waiting.  You could get recurrent  decay and potentially need a root canal by delaying.  Treat it now and you will save yourself some money in the long run. 

Broken/fractured crown

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When a restoration like a crown fails (breaks, fractures, etc.), I like to be proactive rather than reactive.  Meaning, I would recommend replacing it as soon as possible.  If the crown is made up of a substructure of metal (gold, etc.) or zirconia, often times the underlying tooth structure is sealed and safe for a while even though the overlying porcelain may have fractured.  The fractured area usually leads to an open contact between the adjacent teeth, which can result in food impaction and ultimately recurrent decay or periodontal inflammation.  I certainly do not recommend waiting until either of these scenarios occurs.  If the underlying tooth is sealed and contacts between the adjacent teeth are closed, you may be safe for a while.

Crowns can break for a variety of reasons, but most commonly they fracture due to excessive forces being applied and the material fails.  

Chad Colson, DMD
Greenville Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.