Crowns are one of the most common dental procedures, with around 2.3 million crowns made each year. A dental crown is done in at least two different appointments. In between your dental visits, you’ll need to wear a temporary crown.
The temporary crown is designed to stay in place for several weeks but sometimes it can fall off. What do you do if your temporary crown fell off, especially in the evening or during the weekend?
If your dental crown fell off, don’t panic. It’s a minor dental emergency that you can easily handle if you know what to do. Read on for more information.
What Is a Temporary Crown?
A temporary dental crown is a cap that’s shaped like your tooth. It’s used to strengthen damaged or weakened teeth, protecting them from bacteria until a permanent crown can be made.
During the process, the tooth may need to be filed down or shaped so the crown can fit in with the rest of your teeth. A permanent custom-made crown will still need to be made, but until it’s completed a temporary crown is fitted onto the vulnerable tooth.
Temporary crowns can also help you:
- Limit tooth sensitivity
- Smile like normal
- Eat normally
- Limit the movement of the surrounding teeth
A temporary crown is typically made from composite. It’s molded as close as possible to the shape of your tooth. A strong adhesive is used so the crown stays on the affected tooth.
There are a variety of factors that can weaken or chip the adhesive. If that happens, your temporary crown may fall off.
Some causes for a temporary crown falling off include:
- Heavy teeth grinding
- Sticky foods
No matter the reason, if your temporary crown falls off, you need to act quickly.
What Should I Do if My Temporary Crown Fell Off?
If you’ve encountered the crown issue of your temporary crown falling off, don’t panic. Keep in mind that your temporary crown can be fixed. There’s no permanent damage from your crown falling off.
Follow the below steps if your temporary crown falls off:
Find the Temporary Crown
If the temporary crown fell onto the floor or another surface, locate it. Once you have it, determine if it’s in good shape. If the crown is intact it can probably be reattached to your tooth.
If the temporary crown is cracked or chipped, it won’t be possible to reuse it, but bring whatever pieces you find with you to the dentist. Rinse out your mouth to wash away any particles from the temporary crown.
Rinse the Temporary Crown
No matter what shape your temporary crown is in, you need to rinse it off. Use warm water to gently rinse it.
If the temporary crown is damaged, put it in a plastic container or bag. You’ll need to bring whatever you have with you when visiting the emergency dentist.
Check Your Vulnerable Tooth
The tooth that had the temporary crown placed on it is usually smoothed out, but it may be sensitive without the crown to protect it from extreme temperatures and biting pressure. To help with discomfort you can put orthodontic wax over your tooth. You can usually find orthodontic wax at any nearby drugstore. The wax may also help prevent sharp edges from cutting or irritating your tongue or cheek.
Put the Temporary Crown Over Your Tooth
If your temporary crown is in good condition, you can re-attach it to your tooth until you can get into the dentist. . You can use Vaseline, denture adhesive, temporary cement, or even toothpaste to create a bond. Don’t get a false sense of security if you’re able to re-attach the crown with one of the mentioned adhesives. They are just strong enough to hold until you can get in to the dentist.
Before you do this, make sure your tooth and the crown are clean. You don’t want to trap any bacteria underneath the crown. Also be sure to remove the temporary crown when you’re eating or sleeping.
Rinse Your Mouth Frequently
You want the affected area of your mouth to stay clean and free from bacteria. Gently rinse your mouth multiple times a day to ensure no food particles have gathered under the crown.
You also don’t want to chew on the side where the crown is because you don’t want to shift the crown.
Does This Qualify as a Dental Emergency?
More often than not, a temporary crown that’s fallen off isn’t a dental problem that qualifies as an emergency. If the temporary crown is intact, you can reattach it yourself until you’re able to get into your dentist’s office.
One of the key things to keep in mind is acting correctly and quickly. The longer your affected tooth is without the temporary crown, the more at risk it is of getting infected or damaged.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to a qualified emergency dentist. Explain your situation over the phone and they can guide you through the process.
How to Prevent a Temporary Crown From Falling Out
If the dental adhesive has weakened or the temporary crown wasn’t fitted properly to your tooth, you’ll need to see your dentist. But there are other things you can be proactive about to take care of your temporary crown and reduce all likelihood of causing damage to it.
Some ways to avoid having your temporary crown falling out or be damaged include:
- Avoiding eating chewy or sticky foods
- Don’t chew ice
- Floss regularly
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- If you grind your teeth regularly, you might want to explore wearing a mouthguard so you can protect your temporary crown. It’ll help your other teeth as well.
Contact Boise Family Dental Care
If you’re going to have a crown procedure soon, educate yourself on all the possible scenarios you can encounter. Knowing what to do if your temporary crown falls off is a key component to ensuring the health of your teeth.
Boise Family Dental Care is here for you whether you need a crown, root canal, or routine check-up. Book an appointment online for your next dental visit.