Many years ago, I decided to have a smile makeover done. I ended up with porcelain crowns on all my front teeth. They looked great, I was always very happy with the way they made me look and feel. Recently, I have been noticing some rough patches on them. My tongue can’t seem to leave them alone. When I was in for my regular appointment, I told the dentist about it and he smoothed it down. That seemed to help for awhile. Now, I feel like the roughness is worse and it is picking up stains. I am starting to wonder if the crowns are cracking or may be getting ready to fail? Should I get into an emergency dentist before my next business trip that will take me out of the country? Or am I worrying for nothing?
-Jack in Washington, DC
Thank you for your question. Although, it sounds like the rough patches are annoying, they probably aren’t something you would need to schedule an emergency dentist appointment for. That said, the porcelain crowns need to be checked out soon. Sometimes crowns will get defects over the years, but since the roughness has returned and you are now mentioning some discoloration, there may indeed be some cracking. If the crowns are picking up stains as well, the cracks may compromise the strength of the restoration and they may be susceptible to breaking.
So, hold off on the emergency dentist appointment. But do find a cosmetic dentist in your area that is highly skilled. Get in for a consultation and examination and have him or her evaluate what the next steps might be. Over the years, crowns do endure regular wear and tear. An excellent cosmetic dentist will be able to tell you if it’s time to consider replacement. Also, they will have recommendations to help them all match and be uniform in appearance which is important if they are on your front teeth. A skilled cosmetic dentist will be able to blend them in perfectly and may not require replacing all of them.
Thank you for your question.