When you get dental implants, you may be told that the implant can potentially last for decades. Unfortunately, as far as the crown mounted on top of the implant goes, that's sometimes not the case. If you have one or more dental implants and the crown mounted on top has become cracked, this is what you should do to ensure that it doesn't become a big problem for you.
Make an Appointment for a Replacement
First things first: you need to get your crown replaced as soon as possible. When this problem strikes, you can take steps to improve your oral health and to protect your implant at home, but the first thing you should do is to make an appointment with a dentist.
This will let you be seen as soon as possible for a temporary fix with a temporary crown and will expedite the process of ordering a new custom crown for you, too.
Avoid Chewing on Crown
While your crown is still in place, it's no longer going to be protective of your dental implant as long as it's cracked. Chewing on the crown may damage it further, breaking it entirely, which could also fill your mouth with small shards of porcelain. In addition, chewing on the crown in its current state could put pressure on your dental implant, which could damage the implant or hurt your gums.
For now, do your best to avoid chewing on the crown that's damaged. This may take some practice, but it's a necessary step.
Use Temporary Dental Cement
While you're waiting for your dental appointment, there's something you can do to help protect the crown from further damage and to keep your dental implant safe, too.
When your crown cracks, it can let in food debris and bacteria to where your dental implant is. Since you can't access the implant to keep it clean, this can result in bits of food piling up on the implant and potentially causing gum disease or even an infection. The only way to avoid this is to seal up the crack in your dental crown.
This can be accomplished with temporary dental cement, which can usually be bought at any drugstore in the dental aisle. You should follow the directions on the packaging, but usually, it'll state that you need to apply the dental cement and keep your mouth open while it dries, and then your dental crown should be sealed up. Keep in mind that this may not improve the durability or strength of your dental crown, so you still shouldn't chew on it. However, you can rest easy knowing that your implant won't be directly at risk anymore.
To learn more, contact a resource like Gregory S Rutherford, DDS.