A crown is meant to cover up sensitive parts of your teeth. When you have a loose crown or a missing crown, those areas are exposed to bacteria that can lead to infection or other serious oral health problems. Time is of the essence, but you may have to wait to be seen.
If you lose a crown, you’re not the first or the last person to do so. The most important thing to remember is to call a dentist to schedule an appointment to have the crown refitted or replaced. In the meantime, hold onto the crown and go easy on your mouth when eating.
Causes Loose Crowns
in most cases, dental crowns remain attached without problems. Good oral hygiene is essential to protect your newly crowned tooth for the long haul. Unfortunately, there are some cases where the dental crown could become loose. below are some of the most common reasons dental crowns become loose:
Dental crowns are placed on top of your natural tooth, like a cap. Depending on the condition of the tooth, your dentist may have to file down the tooth or fill in the tooth to build it up so that the crown will fit and appear natural. If the crown does not have a proper fit, it could come loose and fall off. Choose a top-rated dentist to ensure a properly fitted crown is placed the first time.
Deteriorating Dental Cement
Dental cement is used to adhere crowns to teeth. Over time, the adhesiveness could deteriorate through everyday exposure to foods and beverages and potentially lead to the crown coming loose. If the crown is leaking because of an improper fit, oral bacteria could breakdown the dental cement.
Bruxism or grinding of the teeth can loosen a crown due to the immense pressure placed on the teeth.
Any type of sudden pull while brushing or flossing and trauma due to fall or a severe blow can lead to the loosening of the crown.
Dentist Or Lab Error
Technical errors in laboratory processing of crowns can result in altered dimensions or distorted crowns. Additionally, an incomplete setting of the cement while fixing the crown causes crown distortion. Cement contamination with oral fluids also creates a weaker bond between the crown and the tooth.
A dental crown is a prosthetic, so it will not decay, but your natural tooth can. Decay commonly develops along the gum line where the tooth and crown meet. Since the underlying structure of your tooth can change with decay, we may or may not be able to save the crown.
The decay will need to be removed from the tooth and a new filling will need to be placed. After the tooth is filled, it may be possible to place the existing crown back on the tooth. If not, dentist will need to make a new crown.
Chewy Or Crunchy Foods
Have you ever popped a luscious caramel into your mouth only to think, “I hope I don’t pull my crown loose!” Common sense tells you which foods to avoid when you have a crown, but we understand that everyone needs to indulge once in a while.
That one gooey caramel probably won’t do any harm, but you can be sure of one thing – eating a lot of chewy or gummy foods and candies will definitely loosen a crown over time. Keep in mind that if your crown is already loose for one of the reasons above, it just takes is one chewy piece of taffy or caramel to pull the crown off.
What To Do If Your Crown Fell Out?
Imagine this scenario: You take a bite, only to feel something strange and lumpy on your tongue. Your crown has become dislodged and is floating around in your mouth.
If this happens to you, the most important thing is to retrieve the crown so you can take it to a dentist. There’s a chance that they can clean it up and fit it back into your mouth.
Next, call a dentist to make an appointment. You’ll need to either get the crown replaced or get a new one. Ask the dentist if there are any other special instructions that you should follow until your appointment.
Some dentists might suggest that you try reinserting the crown back into its spot. You would need to gently clean the inside of the crown with toothpaste first. Then, use dental adhesive (or even toothpaste or sugar-free gum) to temporarily “glue” the crown back into its spot on your jawline. You can buy temporary dental cement at a pharmacy or grocery store.
Until you get your new crown, you should also try to be careful when eating and avoid chewing on the crown. Stick to soft foods and liquids until you can get it replaced.
What Not To Do If Your Crown Fell Out?
The most important thing to remember if your crown comes loose is this: Don’t swallow it! If it falls out of your mouth, be sure to find it and hold on to it.
Other important steps to take while you’re missing a crown in your mouth:
- Avoid foods that are sticky, hard, or require a lot of chewing.
- Try to avoid chewing food on the affected side of your mouth.
- Be gentle when brushing your teeth.
What If A Temporary Crown Fell Out?
Unless you get a same-day crown, a dentist will usually install a temporary crown first. Think of this as a placeholder. It’s filling in the spot in your mouth where your permanent crown will eventually be installed. You might have a temporary crown for a couple of weeks.
Since temporary crowns are typically installed with temporary cement, you may need to be extra careful with it. Your dentist will probably suggest avoiding hard, chewy and sticky foods.
Even with care and attention, it’s possible for a temporary crown to come out. Be sure to tell your dentist and ask for instructions. In the meantime, follow the same basic protocol that you would if a permanent crown falls out.
Treating Teeth After A Crown Falls Out
After your crown becomes dislodged, a dentist will evaluate both the site of the crown and the crown itself.
Depending on the integrity of the crown and the status of your mouth, they’ll have to decide whether to reinstall the crown or to create and install a new one.
Some research suggests that it can be possible to use an existing crown even if your tooth is fractured underneath, although it may need a little work before it can be reinstalled. However, if your tooth underneath is broken, you may need a new crown to ensure a perfect fit.
If you need a new crown and your tooth is damaged, a dentist will need to prepare your tooth, which may mean filing the tooth or adding some filling material to build it up. Then, the dentist will install a temporary crown to allow for some time to make the new one.
Some dentists also offer same-day crowns made out of very strong ceramic material. You can forego the temporary crown in this situation.
Can You Prevent A Crown From Loosing?
There’s not much you can do if your crown wasn’t properly fitted into your mouth or if the cement has weakened. But you can still be proactive about taking care of your crown to reduce the chances that it will come loose.
A few steps recommended by the Academy of General Dentistry include:
- don’t chew ice
- avoid or be very careful eating very sticky or chewy foods
- brush your teethtwice a day
- floss regularly
- use an interdental brush(a wider brush that goes in between teeth like floss) to remove any plaque from the area where your gum meets the tooth and crown
If you grind your teeth at night, a dentist might also recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your crown and your other teeth.