A cracked tooth is never a pleasant experience. especially when it happens on a front tooth. This case demonstrates the repair of a damaged front tooth. The patient had an existing old porcelain jacket crown which cracked in half. Fractures to natural teeth or old dentistry are serious and can be devastating to patients. Sometimes the tooth can be salvaged and sometimes it cannot. In this situation the crack was limited to the crown itself and did not damage the underlying tooth structure. That is not always the case. Sometimes the nature of the trauma can extend to the underlying tooth, or root or both. In those cases the tooth must be extracted and the conversation has to become about how to replace that tooth.
For this discussion we will highlight the trauma and the treatment. I was driving back from parent’s weekend on a Sunday afternoon while visiting my oldest daughter at college when I received the call from my patient that her tooth cracked. She was so nervous on the phone and was in a panic. I tried to reassure her we could fix the problem first thing in the morning as I was over four hours away from home. When she came in we could see her front right upper central incisor was cracked in half. After taking some xrays and performing some tests we were confident the tooth was salvageable. She was so relieved. So what we did was remove the old crown and refined the tooth prep and took an impression to make a new, stronger crown. This existing crown was made from feldspathic porcelain which is very esthetic but not very strong. The new crown was made from a Zirconia base, which is very strong and esthetic. The porcelain is then veneered on top of the Zirconia base to have both strength and esthetic quality.
Feldspathic porcelain is very limited in use for full crowns today because of its limited strength Zirconia crowns have become more popular and for obvious reasons. The end result for this case was excellent and the patient was very pleased, too. If you would like to learn more about all ceramic Zirconia crowns call us at 516 887 3550 and we can do a free consult to discuss your dental needs.