You’re enjoying lunch when you feel a sudden shift in your mouth. If you have had work done, your first thought might be that your crown came off. Your second thought could be a bit of panic that your dental crown fell out and all of the possible repercussions.
Knowing what to do if you lose a crown could save you and your tooth a lot of trouble. So, let’s talk about what to expect and what steps to take if your dental crown falls out.
My Crown Fell Out, What Should I Do?
A dental crown is a sort of cap on a damaged tooth. Since the caps weren’t made to last forever, it’s not uncommon to lose a crown. Maybe the cap fell off the tooth because you were in an accident or you chewed something that pulled it loose. Regardless of how it happened, if your permanent crown fell out you need to do something about it.
The best thing you can do when a crown falls off is to retrieve it. If you saved the lost crown, you may be able to replace it with a bit of toothpaste or vaseline as a temporary fix.
It is possible to lose the crown or accidentally swallow it. When the crown came off, it left your tooth unprotected, so it’s important to clean the area properly. You should carefully monitor the tooth to keep debris out until you can see your dentist.
Is Losing a Crown an Emergency?
Though it can be a little scary, a lost crown isn’t usually a dental emergency. That said, there are a few situations that may require emergency dental care.
- You have significant pain or signs of trauma.
- The crown is still partially attached and could be a choking hazard.
- You can’t completely remove the crown or put it back in place.
While most cases aren’t life-threatening your tooth remains unprotected. You should contact your dentist to make an appointment to have the tooth examined and the crown replaced as soon as possible.
How Long Can You Go Without a Crown?
It’s possible for teeth to survive for several weeks without a crown, but that’s not ideal. Once you have a root canal, your tooth requires a crown for support and protection. Without at least a temporary crown, your tooth could be sensitive to temperatures and susceptible to further damage.
It’s best to get at least a temporary crown as soon as possible to protect your tooth. If you can recover the lost crown, it’s possible to temporarily re-cement it with vaseline, toothpaste, or even sugar-free gum until you can see your dentist.
What Happens If You Lose a Crown Tooth?
One of the causes of lost crowns is further decay, and you may not even be aware of the severity until it happens. If your crown fell out with no tooth left, you may have to consider alternate methods for replacing the tooth. Only your dentist can determine the best course of treatment, so it’s important not to panic. Take a breath and make an appointment with your dental team as soon as possible.
My Crown Fell Off, Can I Eat?
Yes, you can still eat. However, you may want to chew on the other side of your mouth to avoid the area where the crown came off. Avoid sticky and hard foods that could aggravate the tooth. Additionally, you should be careful when brushing and cleaning the area.
Read more: Lost a Filling? What To Do & Steps to Take
What To Do If a Temporary Crown Falls Off
A temporary crown serves as protection for a tooth until the permanent crown can be made. Unfortunately, the temporary cap uses a temporary cement that’s not as durable. That means it’s not uncommon for a temporary crown to fall out.
Would the course of action be different if a temporary crown fell off?
No, even if your temporary crown keeps falling off, it’s the same process as a permanent crown. You may want to avoid eating certain foods until you get the permanent crown placed, but it’s a good idea to keep vaseline, toothpaste, or sugar-free gum handy!
Can you prevent a crown from falling out?
If the cement has loosened or your crown wasn’t correctly inserted into your mouth, there isn’t much you can do. However, you can still prevent your crown from coming loose by taking proactive measures to take care of it such as:
- Be extremely cautious while eating very sticky or chewy items
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss daily
- Wear a mouthguard
Can you get an infection if your crown falls out?
A tooth without a crown is extremely brittle and prone to shattering. Without the crown, you expose the interior of your tooth and run the danger of contaminating it with bacteria that could lead to decay and illness.
Can I brush my teeth if my crown fell off?
You’ll need to find another technique to protect the tooth if the crown has been lost. Your tooth may be sensitive now that the crown is missing. Before seeing your dentist, gently brush the affected tooth with toothpaste to keep the area clean.
Can my crown be recemented?
The crown can be reshaped by a dentist if it is not damaged.
What if a temporary crown fell out?
A dentist would often first install a temporary crown unless you are eligible for a same-day crown. Consider this to be a stand-in. Your mouth’s empty space where your future permanent crown will be placed is being filled in. For a few weeks, you may wear a temporary crown.
You might need to use it with particular caution because temporary cement is normally used to install temporary crowns. Most likely, your dentist would advise avoiding foods that are sticky, chewy, and hard. It is still possible for a temporary crown to fall off, even with care and attention. Ask for directions from your dentist and be sure you mention it.
Why do dental crowns come loose?
It’s possible that until your crown actually falls out, you won’t even be aware that it’s become loose. However, there are a few reasons why this would happen:
- Sometimes the tooth’s remaining structure under the crown can become decayed. Especially if some of the cement wears or is washed away, bacteria might begin to accumulate under the crown and start the degradation process. The fit of the crown may change as the deterioration spreads.
- The crown can deteriorate and become more prone to coming off. There isn’t often enough natural tooth left to keep a crown firmly in place.
- Other factors that can contribute to loose crowns are an incorrectly fitted crown and insufficient cement holding the crown in place.