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How Long Can I Delay Fixing a Crack in a Tooth Crown?

Posted by AllSmiles

My second molar has a hairline crack. I got four crowns in 2002, so they are aging. Last month, I felt the crack as my tongue ran alongside the side of my tooth. But now I can see the crack, and I can feel it with my finger. How long can I delay getting it fixed? I am leaving for Pennsylvania in early July to give my sister a break from caregiving for our mom. Is this an emergency? I don’t want to be in another state and need a new dentist for a crown. It would take me away from the reason I am traveling. Thanks. Journee from Pittsburgh, PA


Although the hairline crack in your crown is not a dental emergency, it probably will not be too long before the crown breaks.

How Long Can You Delay Fixing a Cracked Dental Crown?

Diagram of a same-day-crown hovering over a molar tooth
A same-day crown may be the solution for you

It is usually not a concern if a tooth or dental crown has a craze line or hairline crack. But if you could feel the damage in the past but now see it, your tooth is getting worse.

We recommend asking your dentist to examine your cracked crown and the other crowns to determine the extent of the damage. Depending on the condition of your crowns, your dentist may recommend replacing all of them because they are old. Also, talk to your dentist about your travel plans. If you may be at risk of the crown breaking while in Pennsylvania, it is better to find out now so you can replace the crown before traveling. Dentists who use CAD/CAM technology can make a new crown for you in one visit.

Ensure your dentist has the cosmetic dentistry training to color match your crowns with your natural teeth and ensure your bite is well balanced.

Dr. Thomas J. Goebel, a Moline, Illinois, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.