Losing a dental crown can be a scary moment, especially if your dental office is closed. Your crown protects your tooth and without the crown, your tooth is potentially subjected to problems and injury.
So what do you do when you realize, “My crown fell off”? Here are a few tips you need to know if your crown becomes loose and falls out.
Why Crowns Come Loose
Generally speaking, crowns are used to protect the tooth material under the crown from decay or damage. They’re made of materials like porcelain or metals, which are strong enough to protect the tooth from biting pressures and the acidic conditions which exist in the mouth.. They’re commonly used in connection with dental implants as replacement teeth and after root canals.
Crowns become loose due to a few reasons. Sometimes bacteria invade the underlying tooth, causing the crown to shift and loosen as the bacteria eats away at the underlying tooth. Other times it’s because certain sticky or hard foods dislodged it. Additionally, crowns simply wear out after years and years of use.
If you notice that your crown is loose, but is still in place, you’ll want to contact your dental practice before it falls out completely.
What to Do If Your Crown Falls Out
Crowns are designed to last many years, but sometimes accidents happen. While it may be scary to have your crown fall off, there are a couple of steps you can take to ensure it’s replaced as soon as possible.
First, keep the crown with you, and don’t swallow it if it comes off while you’re eating. Clean it off and store it in a safe place. If you can bring your crown that fell off to your appointment, the dentist may be able to replace it without fashioning a new one.
Next, call your dentist. Let your dentist know that your crown fell off and that you either have it or you don’t. Talk to the office scheduler to set up an appointment for you to get it replaced, and ask for instructions on how to care for the crown and your tooth while you wait for the appointment.
If you do end up swallowing your crown, don’t panic. A crown is made out of non-toxic materials, but be sure to tell your dentist if you do swallow it.
Stay away from sticky or hard foods while your weak tooth is exposed. You don’t want to ruin your tooth anymore, so stick with soft foods until your dentist can replace your crown.
Is it A Dental Emergency?
Is a crown that fell off a dental emergency? The answer to this question depends on the condition of the tooth that is under the crown.
For some, losing your dental crown is an emergency because the exposed tooth has edges that are sharp and painful. In this case, you’ll want to see a dentist as soon as possible. It may also be considered an emergency if the crown was on one of your front teeth and your smile is dramatically affected and impacts your ability to work or be in public.
In most cases though, a crown that falls off is not a dental emergency and can wait for an appointment. If you’re unsure, always contact your dentist to find out the severity of your situation and when you can come in to replace your crown.
Replacing Your Crown
When you lose your crown, the best way to replace it is by keeping the crown that fell off. Unless your crown is severely damaged, there’s a decent chance the dentist will want to try reinserting the existing crown.
Your dentist will make you comfortable by numbing the area and cleaning it to remove bacteria or debris. The dentist then uses an adhesive or cement to properly reseat the crown.
If you do need a new crown and your a patient of Dr. Crump at Boise Family Dental Care we will be able to use the latest in dental technology to design, create, and seat your new dental crown in one visit. If you visit a dentist without the technology for in-office crowns, your dentist will take impressions, or molds, of your teeth and send it off to a dental lab for them to create you a new crown. This could take weeks, so you will receive a temporary crown. Be sure to understand how to care for your temporary crown while you wait for your permanent crown.
Taking Care of Your Crown
Dental crowns are meant to last, and even though accidents do happen, there are ways to care for your crown to ensure its longevity. Here are some tips on caring for your crown.
Brush your teeth well twice a day to prevent decay and bacteria build-up. This keeps your surrounding teeth healthy. Also, don’t forget to floss to reach and clean out bacteria in between your teeth.
Stay away from hard and sticky foods that are prone to break your crown. You may still eat hard and sticky foods, but chew them on the opposite side as your crown. If you have crowns on both sides, it’s best to avoid hard or sticky foods altogether.
Talk to your dentist if you’re a teeth grinder. Teeth grinding will ruin your crown over time, but wearing a mouth guard may help. Ask your dentist if there is evidence in your mouth that you grind your teeth and if a mouth guard is right for you?
Bad chewing habits also contribute to the loosening or damage of a crown. Try to avoid chewing your nails, ice, biting tags off of clothing, or biting other hard things.
My Crown Fell Off
Knowing what to do when you realize, “My crown fell off” helps you stay calm and process the situation. Thankfully, most instances of lost crowns are not urgent and can wait until the next open appointment.
If you need help replacing your crown or have other questions about dental services, reach out to our office today to schedule your appointment.