Is A Broken Temporary Crown A Dental Emergency?

Temporary dental crowns, also known as provisional crowns, are placed on teeth to protect them and restore their function while a permanent crown is being fabricated. While temporary crowns are designed to withstand normal wear and tear, they can sometimes break or fall off. If this happens, it’s important to determine if the situation constitutes a dental emergency and seek appropriate care.

Factors to Consider

When assessing the urgency of a broken temporary crown, consider the following factors:

  1. Location of the Broken Crown: If the broken crown is located in a visible area, such as the front teeth, it may cause aesthetic concerns and affect your confidence.

  2. Pain or Discomfort: A broken crown can expose the underlying tooth and its sensitive nerves, causing pain or discomfort, especially when eating or drinking.

  3. Sharp Edges: Broken pieces of the crown may have sharp edges that could irritate the tongue, cheeks, or gums, leading to further discomfort or even injury.

  4. Underlying Tooth Damage: If the broken crown exposes a damaged or decayed tooth, it may be more susceptible to infection and further damage.

Emergency Dental Care vs. Routine Appointment

In most cases, a broken temporary crown does not require immediate emergency dental care. However, if you are experiencing significant pain, discomfort, or sharp edges that could cause injury, it’s advisable to seek urgent dental attention.

For less pressing situations, such as minor discomfort or aesthetic concerns, you can schedule an appointment with your dentist at their earliest convenience. In the meantime, you can try to reattach the broken crown with a temporary dental adhesive available at most pharmacies.

Preventive Measures

To minimize the risk of breaking a temporary crown, follow these preventive measures:

  1. Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods: Avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods that could put excessive stress on the temporary crown and increase the risk of breakage.

  2. Avoid Using Teeth for Other Purposes: Avoid using your teeth to open packages or bite on hard objects, as this can also damage the crown.

  3. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Continue to brush and floss gently around the temporary crown to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent plaque buildup.

  4. Schedule Regular Dental Checkups: Attend regular dental checkups to monitor the condition of the temporary crown and ensure it is functioning properly.


While a broken temporary crown may be inconvenient, it’s not always a dental emergency. Assess the situation based on the factors mentioned above and seek urgent care if necessary. Following preventive measures can help reduce the risk of breakage and ensure a smooth transition to your permanent crown. Please find the dental office near you in these locations: Attleboro, Chelmsford, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Lynn, Manchester, Methuen, Roslindale, Taunton.

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