Dentists talk a lot about dental crowns for a reason: They’re easy to fit & incredibly reliable when fixing decayed teeth. That makes them less of a hassle for you, too! Under normal circumstances, a crown is a robust restoration that will last you many years or even decades without issue.
That said, you wouldn’t be the first person to be on a dinner date when you suddenly realize that your tooth replacement is floating in your tomato soup. While uncommon, this situation does happen often enough that your dentist surely knows how to help. Let’s talk about why this happens & what you can do if your own crown comes loose.
Why Crowns Fall Out
Crowns don’t get dislodged for no reason. One of the main culprits is trauma—for example, running into a door or getting hit in the face by a ball at your child’s soccer game. Outlandish hypotheticals aside, the most frequent cause for tooth trauma actually occurs inside your mouth. Teeth grinding can cause far more damage than you expect, including eroding the stable foundation of a crown. If your dentist determines that grinding contributed to your loose crown, addressing that underlying problem will be important to prevent future incidents.
Poor oral hygiene can also undermine even the strongest of crowns. It’s important to keep your mouth clean & healthy to prevent bacteria from eating away at the tooth root that holds up your crown. You don’t want your dental investment to go to waste & end up costing you more, so regular brushing, flossing & dental visits are a simple way to avoid this embarrassing situation.
Getting Help With a Loose Crown
If your crown has fallen out, you should call your dentist immediately & ask for a same-day appointment. While not life-threatening, it is still an emergency that you need to take care of as soon as possible.
If the office is closed or can’t see you right away, there are a few steps you can take to protect the vulnerable tooth. Visit your local pharmacy or drugstore to buy dental cement, which is a putty-like substance that temporarily coats your tooth while you wait to see your dentist. You’ll also need to be careful about what you eat & shouldn’t use that tooth to bite anything. Stick to foods that don’t require much or any chewing, like applesauce & soup.
Be sure to gently clean the crown with some warm water & store it in a bag or container where it will be safe. Unless it is damaged, your dentist will reattach the original crown.
A crown that falls out is an unfortunate predicament, but not the end of the world. With a little preparation & help from a dental professional, your smile will be back in perfect shape in no time.