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Will I Need a Tooth Implant If My Dental Crown Fractured?

Posted by AllSmiles

One of my four porcelain crowns cracked, and I would like to know if it is an emergency and whether I will need a tooth implant. The tooth is my left lateral incisor; I’ve had a crown on it since 2002. I do not want to jeopardize my tooth and need a dental implant. The fracture is near the bottom. I took pictures of the crack when I first noticed it, and it’s more noticeable than it was a few months ago.  I do not want it to break while I am out of town visiting my mom for two weeks. The other issue is that I have a new dentist whom I have only seen for cleanings and exams. I’m unsure if I want this practice to do any cosmetic work on my teeth. Is my fractured crown an emergency? – Thank you. Ellis from MI



Thank you for your question.

Is a Fractured Dental Crown an Emergency?

A fractured crown is not an emergency that immediately jeopardizes your tooth. Thin fractures (craze lines) in teeth or crowns usually affect only the tooth enamel. However, if you can see the fracture and it is more visible than before, it may worsen. And the crown will eventually break completely.

Do You Need a Tooth Implant if a Crown Breaks?

Model of a tooth implant in the gums and bone with natural teeth on either side.
You won’t need a tooth implant for a cracked crown unless the tooth is damaged and unsavable.

You do not automatically need a tooth implant if a crown breaks. However, if you leave the tooth unprotected for an extended period, your natural tooth might weaken and break. A cosmetic dentist will examine and x-ray your tooth and look for any signs of damage. Unless you experienced trauma or internal damage to the tooth and the tooth is unsavable, you don’t need a tooth implant.

Get a Dental Crown Second Opinion

You are wise not to trust a dentist whose cosmetic work you haven’t experienced or seen. We recommend scheduling an appointment with an advanced cosmetic dentist to replace the crown. If you are concerned about the crown while out of town, consider seeing a cosmetic dentist as soon as possible. It usually takes about two weeks to get a new crown.

Replacing one crown requires a dentist to have the color-matching skill to ensure the replacement matches your natural teeth and other crowns. Color-matching is a challenge for many dentists, who seldom admit when they do not have the skill.

If you must delay a dental visit and anything happens to your crown while out of town, look for an accredited cosmetic dentist or one with advanced cosmetic dentistry training. Look at dentists’ websites for a smile gallery of before-and-after photos of crowns on front teeth. You can prevent the need for a tooth implant by getting an experienced dentist to examine the condition of your crown and tooth promptly.


Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist and Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologist, sponsors this post. Read how Dr. Michalski strives to provide patients with some of the best dental care in Rocky Hill.