Last night I was eating Dorito chips and my porcelain-to-metal crown chipped! It is in the back of my lower jaw. Should I be worried? What are my options? Thank you.
—Joshua from New Mexico
No, you shouldn’t need to worry. With the metal foundation under the dental crown, as long as the metal is intact, the tooth should be protected. If there are sharp edges that irritate your tongue, you may have to have it smoothed. But have it checked when you’re due for your next regular checkup to make sure there isn’t a hole in the metal, too, or something.
One other point. If this crown is fairly new, say two or three years old or less, the chipping could indicate a defect in the laboratory work, and you may have grounds for asking that it be replaced for free.
If the chipped porcelain crown is in the front, however, it may need to be repaired. Read Dr. Hall’s explanation of how a dentist can repair a chipped porcelain crown on a front tooth. Most dentists either don’t know how to do this or don’t have the materials on hand to do this.