When you have a damaged tooth, you typically need a dental crown. A crown is a cap that’s placed over the top of your natural tooth to protect and support it.
Although used most often to cover a damaged tooth, crowns can also be used to protect a tooth that’s had a large filling, cover a tooth that’s had a root canal, or cosmetically address an unsightly tooth.
Whatever the reason for your dental crown, it should last for at least 10 years before it needs to be replaced. But, it’s always possible that your crown can loosen or become dislodged.
Because of this possibility, our team at First Dental Associates in Reading, Massachusetts, led by Nasrin Sadeghi, DMD, and Medha Singh, DMD, BDS, MS, wants you to know exactly what to do if you find yourself with a loose crown.
It’s not uncommon to bite into something only to have your crown become dislodged. The first thing to do when you notice that your crown has broken or fallen off is to safely retrieve it from your mouth. It’s possible that our team will be able to put your original crown back on.
The next thing to do is to contact us to set up an appointment. Once you’re at our office, we can determine if you need a new crown or if we can simply put the old one back on.
Before your appointment, you can attempt to temporarily bond your crown back onto your tooth with toothpaste or sugar-free gum as a makeshift solution. You can also purchase dental adhesive at your local pharmacy.
It’s very important that you do your best not to swallow your crown and find it as soon as you realize it’s loose. While your crown is missing, make sure to avoid eating sticky and hard to chew foods and be very gentle while brushing the affected tooth.
Crowns can become loose for a number of reasons. Most often, tooth decay forms on what’s left of your tooth under the crown, and bacteria can start to multiply. Once your tooth starts decaying, the crown won’t fit as snugly and can then come right off.
Other times, there’s just enough left of your original tooth for the crown to hold onto, which results in it coming off. Crowns can also come off if you eat especially sticky foods or grind your teeth.
While you can’t always prevent a crown from loosening, you can do some things to properly care for it and mitigate that risk.
Try to maintain a good oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing regularly. You can also use an interdental brush, which helps remove plaque where your gums and the crown meet. This reduces your risk of tooth decay under the crown.
Also avoid eating ice or sticky foods that could loosen or break your crown. If you grind your teeth at night, our team can help you find a mouthguard that can protect your teeth and your crown.
If you’ve lost a crown, don’t fret. Simply contact our team for an appointment so we can fix it as quickly as possible for you. You can do this by giving us a call or by using our online scheduler.