Losing a dental crown can be pretty unpleasant. Crowns are supposed to last for a long time, after all, and in most cases, your dentist will simply replace your crown once it gets worn out.
Dental crowns do come loose for a variety of reasons, however, and if yours has fallen out this article will help. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in.
What to do if your dental crown has fallen out
Retrieve the crown
The first step is to put the crown somewhere safe so you can bring it to your dentist. Your dentist may be able to place the crown back on your tooth if it isn’t too damaged.
Call an emergency dentist
You should call a dentist who can replace your crown the same day that it falls out – as we’ll soon discuss, a crownless tooth needs very special care. If your crown has fallen out, and you live in Edmonton, click here to book an appointment with us. We have multiple locations throughout the city, and we’re open 24/7.
Take something for any tooth pain
We recommend taking an over-the-counter painkiller in order to dull any potential tooth pain – there’s going to be a hole where the crown was, and that can lead to tooth sensitivity. You can take whichever painkiller you prefer – there’s rarely any swelling caused by lost crowns, so you don’t need to choose an NSAID, like ibuprofen, if you prefer acetaminophen.
Avoid certain foods
Without its crown, your tooth may be more vulnerable to certain foods which can trigger sensitivity. Food can also become lodged in the space left behind by the crown much more easily.
As such, you should avoid eating acidic foods, sticky foods, or any foods that require a lot of chewing or bite force. You should also avoid eating on the side of your mouth where the missing crown was located.
What to do if you can’t find your dental crown
The tips we provided above are still useful if you can’t find your dental crown – for example, if it took a strange bounce and you can’t locate it, or if it fell out while you were outside. In these circumstances, your dentist will simply have to make a new crown for you – the care tips we provided still apply.
What if I swallowed my dental crown?
If you’ve swallowed your dental crown, see a doctor immediately. There’s a chance you may have aspirated the crown, which can damage your lungs. The crown may also end up lodged in your intestines. In either case, an x-ray will be important, so the doctor can assess how you should proceed.
How to avoid losing a dental crown
Sometimes, dental crowns fall out. The cement used to affix the crown to your tooth may have weakened or the crown may not have been properly fitted. There’s little you can do to prevent these scenarios.
You can, however, avoid being the cause of a too loose crown by taking some preventive measures. Avoid very sticky, chewy, or hard foods, brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day. Teeth grinding can also damage or loosen dental crowns – if you grind your teeth at night, your dentist might recommend a night guard.
The most important thing to remember if you lose a crown is not to panic. Lost crowns are an emergency because if you go days without a crown, problems can develop – but there’s no immediate threat to your health. Stay calm, follow the steps we laid out here, and you’ll be okay.