Even if you keep up a diligent oral hygiene routine, your teeth can still succumb to injuries, decay, and the gradual effects of time. And that’s where crowns come in.
Crowns quickly cover imperfections and effectively restore your smile in one treatment. Crowns also come in handy in other ways. For instance, a crown helps hold a dental bridge in place, tops off a dental implant, and is the last step in a root canal.
Though crowns are one of our most versatile treatments and can last for years, they can break or fall out.
Here, Dr. Ryan Fait and our team at Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry, located in Long Beach and Avalon, California, walk you through what to do when your crown falls out.
Your first steps
Dental crowns can fall out for a variety of reasons, and sometimes you may not even realize it has happened. Biting down on something hard or sticky, grinding your teeth, or a sharp blow to your jaw can dislodge your crown. Bacteria can accumulate below your crown unbeknownst to you and dislodge some of the cement holding your crown in place. You may even lose your crown if it becomes chipped or gradually loosens.
Whatever caused your crown to pop off, always treat it as a dental emergency and follow these steps.
A displaced crown is an emergency, but it’s not a reason to panic. If you can find the crown, keep it clean and store it in a safe place until you can see Dr. Fait — chances are he can simply reinstall the crown.
If you lose the crown completely, don’t worry. We can easily remake and replace your crown. If you happen to swallow your crown, you may consider calling a medical doctor to be safe; however, crowns aren’t toxic and usually pass naturally.
Call us as soon as possible
Without a crown, your underlying tooth is vulnerable to rapid deterioration. For that reason, it’s crucial to make an appointment with Dr. Fait and our team. Don’t be afraid to eat and talk normally, albeit carefully. As long as your appointment isn’t too far off, the likelihood of you doing any significant damage is low.
If a temporary crown falls out
In some cases, we may install a temporary crown as a placeholder for a permanent crown. We recommend that you take extra care since temporary crowns are held in place with temporary cement. Should your temporary crown come loose, follow the same protocol for a permanent crown.
What not to do
There are a few no-nos when it comes to treating a lost crown. Never attempt to replace the crown yourself. Some have considered re-adhering their crowns with glue until they can see their dentist, but that can compromise your teeth and even put you at risk for ingesting toxins.
You should also avoid eating sticky or hard foods or foods that require a lot of chewing. Do your best to chew on the other side of your mouth and brush gently.
Your replacement appointment
Our first step in replacing your crown is to assess both the site of the crown and the crown itself. If your crown is still in good shape, we can likely reinstall it by removing the old cement and reapplying new cement.
If not, we need to make a new crown. Depending on the state of your underlying tooth, we may recommend a bit of preparation to address any weaknesses before we install your new crown.
Dr. Fait has years of experience quickly and calmly responding to dental emergencies like lost crowns. If your crown has fallen out, don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Call our friendly staff or use our online booking tools to schedule an appointment with us today.