What to do if crown falls off?
Upon taking a bite, you felt something strange and lumpy in your mouth. Upon further inspection, you realized that your dental crown had become dislodged and was floating around in your mouth.
If you experience this issue, it is imperative to recover the crown so you can take it to a dentist for potential recementing. There is a possibility that the dentist can clean the crown and refit it back into your mouth.
It is recommended to contact a dentist to schedule an appointment, either to have the crown replaced or to receive a new one. Additionally, it is advisable to inquire with the dentist if there are any special instructions that should be followed until the appointment.
Some dentists may suggest that you attempt to reinsert the crown back into its proper position. Before doing so, it is advised to gently clean the inside of the crown with toothpaste. For a temporary solution, use dental adhesive (such as toothpaste or sugar-free gum) to adhere the crown back in its spot on your jawline. Temporary dental cement can be purchased at most pharmacies and grocery stores.
It is recommended that until you receive your new crown, you take extra care when eating and try to avoid putting pressure on the crown. To reduce the risk of further damage, please restrict your diet to soft foods and liquids until the crown can be replaced.
How Long Can You Go Without a Crown?
Without a crown, a tooth can remain intact for a few days or weeks, however, it is advisable to seek the advice of a dentist or endodontist promptly. A dental crown on a root canal provides additional strength and protection that may be otherwise lacking. If a tooth is exposed, it may be at risk of further damage and become a source of discomfort. If the original crown cannot be reattached, your dentist may recommend a temporary crown to protect the affected tooth until a new permanent crown can be made.
Why Do Crowns Fall Off?
Crowns can provide optimal protection to teeth for five to fifteen years with proper oral care. Despite this, the underlying tooth may still be at risk of infection due to bacteria infiltrating underneath a crown. Tooth decay caused by such microorganisms is one potential cause for a crown coming off. Nevertheless, there are numerous other factors that could result in the detachment of a crown:
- The crown does not fit correctly.
- The tooth underneath the loose crown has been weakened or infected.
- The loose crown is not properly secured due to insufficient amount of tooth cement.
- A dental crown was dislodged due to a blow to the mouth.
- Chewing on sticky food or ice caused the crown to become dislodged.
- Bruxism, or teeth grinding, caused the crown to become loosened.
If a crown becomes partially dislodged, the patient should contact their dentist right away for further instructions. The dentist may advise the patient on whether to leave the crown alone or gently remove it, but they should never remove the crown without guidance from a dental professional.
Can you prevent a crown from falling out?
If your crown was not fitted properly into your mouth or the cement has weakened, there is limited action that can be taken. Nevertheless, it is still possible to be proactive with regards to maintaining the crown to minimize the risk of it becoming loose.
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recommends the following steps to maintain oral health:
- Don’t chew ice
- It is advised to exercise caution when eating foods that are particularly sticky or chewy.
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss regularly
- For optimal dental hygiene, an interdental brush should be used to remove any plaque from the area where the gum meets the tooth and crown. Interdental brushes have a wider design, which allows them to effectively reach the difficult-to-clean nooks and crannies of teeth.
A dentist may suggest that a mouthguard be worn at night to safeguard the crown and other teeth from grinding.