What to Do if Your Dental Crown Falls Out
A quality dental crown protects your tooth from further damage. Crowns are used to strengthen a tooth that is weakened after dental treatment. You might also need one to cover up a cracked or fractured tooth.
Your Dental Crown Fell Out - Now What?
Your new crown should last for many years, but it can come loose. They often come off while you are eating or after a blow to your jaw. Knowing what to do when one comes off can preserve the existing tooth structure.
Try to Preserve the Crown
Lost crowns often stay in your mouth, but they can fall out. In this case, you can rinse it off and check to see if it has tooth fragments or other debris inside.
If the crown isn’t damaged, then we may be able to re-cement it to your tooth. Place it in a container to keep it safe until you can bring it to our office.
If you can’t find the crown, then you might have swallowed it. In that case it will pass naturally, and we can make you a new one.
Schedule a Dental Appointment
Losing a dental crown means that the underlying tooth structure is exposed. Leaving a crown off for too long could cause the remaining tooth to break or develop further decay.
Coming in for treatment as soon as possible gives you a better chance at saving the tooth. An emergency dental appointment can also help you to restore your appearance if the crown was in a visible area.
Practice Gentle Oral Hygiene Care
For now, you can still brush and floss the rest of your teeth normally. When you get to the area with the missing crown, just use an extra gentle brushing technique.
You can also rinse your mouth with salt water if you have pain or swelling along your gums.
Avoid Hard and Sticky Food
You’ll want to treat this part of your mouth much like you would with a temporary restoration.
Hard foods could fracture the fragile enamel that is left on your tooth. Sticky foods can also generate pressure on your tooth that could cause it to break. Once you replace your crown, you’ll be able to go back to your normal diet.
Find Out What Caused the Crown to Fall Out
Sometimes, crowns fall out because they get old and the cement weakens. Other times, there is a treatable cause that you need to address.
For example, you might have gone too long without a dental cleaning. This can cause plaque to build up and cause decay along the crown’s margin. If this is what happened, you may need to treat the tooth and get back to scheduling regular cleanings.
Tooth grinding can also wear down the cement that holds the restoration in place. Wearing a mouthguard at night can reduce the strain placed on that tooth.
A similar method can work if you play sports and lost the crown after a heavy hit to your face. Figuring out what happened can make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
Feeling a crown come off might cause your heart to sink, but there’s no need to worry. Loose and broken crowns are one of those dental emergencies that don’t typically take long to fix.
In some cases, you can even get a crown replaced in around an hour. Don’t delay your crown replacement. Having a lost restoration replaced as soon as possible prevents the underlying tooth from breaking.