Losing a dental crown can give you quite the shock. And when it happens, lots of questions run through your head. We are here to give you a step-by-step guide on what to do if your dental crown comes out.
First, Don’t Panic
While losing a crown is a serious situation that you want to address as soon as possible, it is usually not a medical emergency. A crown is basically a “cap” that covers and protects a tooth after a root canal, partial tooth loss, or if decayed or infected tissue has been removed.
A temporary crown is used to protect a tooth until a permanent crown is placed. Losing a temporary crown is more common since the adhesive is weaker in order to allow your dentist to remove it to place the permanent crown. However, it is not uncommon to lose a permanent crown as well.
Steps to Take if Your Dental Crown Comes Out
It is important to replace a crown right away because the tooth can be weak and susceptible to damage. In addition, the underlying tissue will be exposed. It can be sore or painful and even vulnerable to infection.
Save the Crown
If possible, try to retrieve your crown and save it. Rinse it carefully, if you can, with mild soap and water and store it in a safe, clean place. Bring your crown with you when you go to your appointment; your dentist may be able to reattach it, which could save you time and expense.
Sometimes you may accidentally swallow your crown. Don’t worry, it will not hurt you. If you swallowed or lost your crown, your dentist can replace it with a new one.
Call Your Dentist Immediately
As soon as you realize you lost your crown, call your dentist. He or she will likely schedule an emergency visit, ideally on the same day. Be sure to bring your crown with you to your appointment if you were able to save it.
What if You Lose a Crown on a Weekend?
Most of the time, losing a crown is not an urgent emergency. If you cannot reach your dentist, leave a message requesting a call back to schedule an appointment as soon as the office reopens. If, however, your lost crown is a result of trauma or it is causing significant pain, seek emergency medical attention.
What if You Have to Wait?
If you do have to wait for your appointment, it is okay to eat and drink after you lose a crown. Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods. Also, avoid consuming foods and drinks that are very hot or cold. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
If the tooth is sensitive, that may mean that the nerve or other soft tissue has been exposed. Consider buying dental cement or dental wax at the pharmacy to temporarily cover the tooth. Don’t worry; these options are easy to remove when it is time for your appointment.
Protect Your New Crown
Good oral hygiene and keeping regular dental visits are the best way to protect your crown and all of your natural teeth. Tooth decay in the area of a crown can cause a crown to fall out. Proper brushing and flossing will prevent decay, while regular dental visits allow your provider to check on your crown and make sure it is in good shape.
If you lost a dental crown, call us right away for an emergency visit. And don’t forget to schedule your twice-a-year check-up to keep all of your teeth (and your crown) strong and healthy!