Your dentist applied a crown to your tooth because it was damaged or weak. Unlike a veneer which only covers the front of the tooth, the crown is a cap that typically covers all or most of it.
Crowns are strong and are meant to last a number of years, but sometimes due to the materials, it may have been made with or perhaps something you are biting down on can cause it to come loose or fall out before it’s due to be replaced. If your crown does become dislodged it’s important to know how to handle the situation.
What do you do?
A common occurrence is it popping off while eating, If you feel it floating around in your mouth, retrieve it, don’t throw it out. There is the possibility your dentist can clean it up and fit it back on securely.
The next step is to call your dentist to make an appointment. Your dentists might suggest that you try reinserting the crown back into its spot, but first gently clean the inside of the crown with toothpaste. Until you visit the dentist, you can purchase temporary dental cement at your local pharmacy to temporarily “glue” the crown back into its spot. You should also try to be careful when eating and avoid chewing directly on the crown. Stick to soft foods and liquids until you see your dentist. Also, brush and floss very carefully around the area of the missing or temporarily reinstalled crown.
What to avoid if your crown falls out:
- Don’t eat sticky, hard foods that require lots of chewing or
- Don’t chew directly on the crown or that side of your mouth.
What to do if your temporary crown falls out?
While waiting for your crown to be made, your dentist will likely install a temporary crown to protect the tooth in the meantime and act as a placeholder for the new permanent crown. This is usually fit with temporary cement. Since it is not as secure as your permanent crown you will need to be careful again with avoiding eating sticky and hard foods. Ask your dentist for any protocols they suggest should it fall out, but it is pretty standard to follow the same guidelines should a permanent crown fall out.
Crowns may become loose for the following reasons:
- Was not installed properly and bacteria seeped in underneath causing more decay to the tooth.
- The cement that secures the crown in place has weakened.
How to care for your crowns:
- Again, be mindful of eating sticky or chewy foods.
- Don’t chew on ice.
- Have good oral hygiene habits, brush twice a day for 2 minutes and floss regularly.
- If you have a tendency to grind your teeth at night a mouthguard may be a good way to protect your crown while you sleep.
The most important thing to remember is that this is not uncommon, hold on to your crown and call your dentist.