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Dentistry/cap and tooth broke off after 5 months


I had 4 caps put on my front 4 teeth in October of 2013, 5 months ago. Tonight I was eating some chips and one of my caps and the tooth broke completely off. The other three feel like they are holding well. Why could this have happened? My other problem is that we no longer have insurance so I need to find a way to get this fixed asap and as price effective as possible. Thank you.

Dear Jessica and thanks for your question which I am answering from the question pool.

There are a multitude of possible many reasons why this happened, including weak tooth substructure (could be from decay, a crown or root fracture, a non-vital tooth with or without root canal treatment), poorly fitting crown, altered bite and occlusion on new crown, periodontally weakened tooth, etc. Unfortunately, if any of these could have been prevented, I am sure your dentist would have done everything possible to ensure this, but sometimes, nature takes its own course and problems arise later.  Because of the limited visibility when it comes to teeth (ie one cannot see whats going on inside), clinicians use certain markers to gauge the severity and presence of pathology.  These are estimations and certainly, as could be the case for you, there are exceptions which do not follow the same course and are therefore not identified in the usual way.  The nature of the break, however, leads me to believe that there is a greater possibility that the crown of the tooth had a fracture line in it on crowning and although this was incorporated as much as possible in the design of the new crown (possibly in an attempt to strengthen the remaining tooth from further fracture), the specific stresses and strains acting on that particular tooth reached a maximum level which that fracture could tolerate and hence an irreversible tooth fracture. It might be possible for your dentist to use the existing new crown and manufacture a post-core or pinned-core if possible, onto which the crown can get retention from - so all is not lost.  Discuss your options with your dentist but do not delay in seeking out help. I hope this helps and wish you all the very best further, Take care.

Dr Craig Peck


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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)


I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.


I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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