I saw an emergency dentist two days ago for a new crown I got in October 2022. A piece of the crown broke this past February. I was surprised that a new crown would break so quickly, but it was never comfortable. The dentist I had at the time adjusted the crown twice before it broke. I called dental offices yesterday and asked for an emergency appointment because I have no plans to return to the dentist who did the crown. The emergency dentist looked at the crown but said he couldn’t repair it and that he doesn’t fix crowns done by other dentists. He said I needed a new crown altogether. The broken crown cost me over $500 out of pocket because my insurance doesn’t cover much at all. I don’t have another $500 for a new crown. I’m frustrated because I don’t understand why the dentist can’t remove and fix the crown and cement it on again. Can I find another dentist to repair it? Thank you. Luke R.
Thank you for contacting Bayou Dental Group about your broken crown. Your frustration is understandable.
Can You Repair a Broken Crown?
Sometimes, a cosmetic dentist can use composite bonding to repair minor damage to a crown. However, an attempt to repair it might be a temporary solution or may weaken the crown. Several factors affect the success of a repair.
- Crown location. Which tooth does the crown cover? If the crown covers a tooth used for biting or chewing, it will not withstand the force or pressure from eating.
- Crown condition. Only minor damage is reparable. A low-quality crown will likely break during the repair.
- Dentist’s skill and experience. Crown repair takes a delicate balance of art and skill. Your dentist may be unable to restore your crown.
A dental crown should last five years. If you can prove faulty dental work, your dental insurance company may provide some coverage toward a new crown. The dentist with whom you had an emergency appointment was understandably hesitant to repair your crown. Although you don’t want to return to the original dentist who placed the crown, you may save money. Explain to the dentist that the crown broke although it is new, and you were not negligent. He might be willing to replace it or contribute to the cost of your getting a new one from another dentist. You may also contact your insurance company to report the issue.
Should You Switch Dentists for a New Crown?
If you decide to switch dentists to replace your faulty crown, you will likely incur all the costs of getting a new one. The cost will include examinations, x-rays, taking impressions of your tooth, lab fees, and other associated fees. Check the experience and credentials of a dentist before switching. Ensure the dentist has post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry and regularly participates in continuing education. Resolve the concerns with your crown as soon as possible to avoid another dental emergency.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, Louisiana, accredited cosmetic dentist and Academy of General Dentistry Fellow, sponsors this post. Read about what Dr. Finley and his team do to provide some of the best dental care in Monroe.