What To Do If Your Dental Crown Falls Off
A dental crown protects and strengthens the underlying tooth and restores the natural look of your smile when a tooth has been damaged. If you lose a crown, the underlying tooth becomes unprotected and likely misshapen, compromising your oral health and the beauty of your smile. Should your dental crown fall off, you’re facing a dental emergency and must take distinct steps to protect the compromised tooth and get the lost crown reattached or replaced.
With extensive combined experience fitting dental crowns for their Marco Island, Florida patients, Dr. Jonathan Van Dyke of Island Tower Dentistry can guide you on what steps to take should you lose a crown. They can also reattach or replace the lost crown to restore your smile and the integrity of your oral health.
Why Did My Dental Crown Fall Out?
Before we address what to do if you lose a dental crown, you’re probably wondering why your crown might fall off. A “permanent” dental crown can typically last from 10 to 30 years, depending on the original tooth’s condition, type of crown, how well it was originally fitted, and on one’s overall oral health maintenance. Primary reasons a dental crown might fall off include:
- Impact to the mouth, such as during contact sports or by falling.
- Teeth grinding that weakens the crown and underlying tooth.
- Decay of the underlying tooth.
- Biting down on hard food items.
- Improper initial fitting.
First Steps to Take If Your Dental Crown Falls Off
Because your dentist may be able to reattach the crown to your tooth, your first goal is to find the crown. This should be easy if it has fallen off in your mouth, but whatever you do, don’t swallow it or chomp down on it. If it falls to the ground, look around carefully and don’t take any steps without first ensuring you will not step on it.
Once in hand, gently wash it with warm water and soap. You can inspect it for damage but do not be overly concerned about its appearance, as only your dentist can determine if it can be reattached. If you see pieces of your tooth in the crown, the underlying tooth has been further damaged, but the presence of a small metal post is normal as it is the anchor to your tooth.
The next step is to call your dentist and cross your fingers that they can schedule a near immediate-term appointment. If so, your next step would be to get yourself to your dentist. Island Tower Dentistry provides emergency dental services that may be able to accommodate you, but make sure you listen to the recorded instructions should you call the office after hours.
If you cannot find a dentist that can see you in the near term, you need to protect the underlying tooth structure that the dental crown capped. The loss of your crown has likely exposed nerves and sensitive inner tooth tissues. This makes the tooth susceptible to further damage and highly sensitive to touch and temperature. In fact, if you are not already feeling some pain, it probably feels somewhat tender.
To protect your tooth, purchase some temporary dental cement from the pharmacy. Following the instructions provided, you will mold this protective coating around the tooth. Dental wax can also offer protection if cement is unavailable at your drug store, though it’s not as robust as dental cement.
What to Do Until You See Your Dentist
Once you’ve secured the tooth’s temporary protection, you’ve taken all the necessary steps you can take toward resolving the loss of your dental crown. Now it will be up to your dentist. Keep these thoughts in mind while waiting for your appointment:
- Avoid crunchy, sticky, chewy, and hard food items that might dislodge the dental cement or wax.
- Try not to chew on the affected side of your mouth.
- Be gentle when brushing and flossing.
- Know that the tooth will likely be highly sensitive to hot and cold drinks.
To Restore Your Dental Crown, Call Island Tower Dentistry
If your dental crown has fallen off or you are concerned that a crown might be getting loose, Island Tower Dentistry can sort you out. Whether reattaching an existing crown or fitting you with a new one, the Marco Island dentists can restore the beauty of your smile. For all of your dental needs, contact Island Tower Dentistry today at 239-394-1004.