A dental crown provides a long-lasting solution to improve the health, function, and appearance of a tooth. The customized cap protects it using a method that looks and feels natural. Over time, you may forget it is there. However, if your crown falls off, it’s impossible to ignore. Don’t panic! Here’s what you should do if your dental crown has fallen off.
Handling a Lost Crown
Although dental crowns are durable, they don’t last forever. Many factors can cause your restoration to fall off, like sticky food or decay. No matter the reason, here are a few tips for making a stressful situation easier:
- Find Your Crown: Hopefully, you haven’t swallowed your crown. Find your restoration, clean it, and store it in a container. Depending on your situation, your dentist may be able to cement it in place.
- Rinse Your Tooth: Rinse your mouth with salt water to remove any debris and bacteria. It can also reduce pain and inflammation.
- Manage Any Pain: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever and apply a cold compress.
- Eat Carefully: Your tooth will be vulnerable without the protection of a crown. Eat soft foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth to avoid damaging your tooth.
- Use Some Toothpaste: You can apply a small dab of toothpaste to your crown and place it back over your tooth. It will create a temporary seal to hold it in place, but it’s not meant to be used as a permanent solution.
- Don’t Use Superglue: Do not use any glue or adhesives to bond your crown to your tooth.
Contact Your Dentist Right Away
A lost dental crown requires immediate care from a dentist, even if you’re not having any pain. Contact an emergency dentist for an appointment. They’ll examine your tooth and restoration to determine if your old crown can still be used or if you’ll need a replacement.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
A dental crown can last for a decade or longer with the right care, like brushing and flossing. You can get the most from your investment by limiting sugars and starches. Moderate hard and chewy foods. It is best to break any bad habits, like crunching ice. If you grind or clench your teeth, ask your dentist for a nightguard.
Besides caring for your crown at home, visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. Your dentist will keep your mouth healthy and ensure your crown serves you for many years before needing a replacement.
About Dr. Pooyan Refahi
Dr. Refahi earned his dental degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and continued his education for 3 years to achieve his specialty certificate in periodontology and implant surgery. Book an appointment through his website or call (703) 722-8806.