Having a loose crown, or having a crown fall out, can be an unsettling feeling. It can also be a painful feeling because the exposed tooth is sensitive to hot and cold foods, chewing — and even air. Many people don’t know exactly what to do when they lose a crown. Here, I’ll explain what you should do and also things you can do to prevent your crown from becoming loose or falling out.
First, Find the Crown
Usually a crown will pop off while you are eating, flossing or brushing your teeth. Find the crown if you can. If you swallowed it, it will usually pass without a problem, but you will need to have a new crown made, whereas the old crown can most likely be reattached. Many dentists will reattach a crown free of charge if they were the ones who originally placed the crown in your mouth and if there is no other issue with the crown besides the cement. If you find the crown, take a look at it and gently clean it with a toothbrush. You should also gently clean the exposed tooth, if possible.
Then, Call Your Dentist
It’s important to see your dentist as quickly as possible if you have a problem with your crown, or if it fell out. This is because your dentist can refit it before the underlying tooth becomes further damaged or decayed. Because losing a crown is considered a dental emergency, most dentists will try to get you into the office within 24-48 hours, if not the same day. However, if your dentist can’t see you right away, there are some measures you can take at home while you are waiting to see him or her.
While You’re Waiting to See the Dentist
If you do have the crown, it’s a good idea to temporarily place your crown back on your tooth, using some over the counter dental cream. You can find it at your local drugstore. You can also use a small daub of toothpaste. Before you use the denture cream, be sure to carefully examine the crown to determine the correct way it’s supposed to fit on your tooth. Test the fit before applying any cream. If the crown is on your tooth correctly, it should feel right when you bite down. Don’t bite too hard, though, or you may damage your crown.
If you do not have the crown, make every effort to get it fixed as soon as possible. A tooth that has lost its crown is very fragile and at risk for breaking. Without the protective crown, the deep parts of your tooth are now exposed to bacteria and debris which can cause infection and decay. If the exposed tooth is painful and extremely sensitive, apply some clove oil (found at most drug stores) or topical dental pain reliever (like Anbesol).
Why Do Crowns Fall Out?
Problems can occur with either the crown itself or with the underlying tooth. The retention depends to a large extent on the quality and amount of tooth structure that is underneath.
Some common reasons for failure include:
- Heavy tooth grinding
If none of these situations exist, the crown could have come out because the cement leached out gradually over a period of years. If you were able to find and save the crown, it can simply be re-cemented back on. If your crown is loose or fell out, make an appointment right away to see us at Ideal Dental Solutions.