Here at Stono Dental Care, we know that accidents happen. You were probably pretty surprised when you were eating your salad, and suddenly there was a big hard something rolling around in your mouth, and you pull out a gold crown! There didn’t seem to be any pain associated with it when it came out, but what do you do now?
How Bad is This?
Not too bad just yet! While there may have been no pain at the time, you now have a very vulnerable tooth. As you probably know, when we prepared the tooth for the crown, we ground off enough of the enamel of the tooth to be able to fit the crown over the remaining stump. This leaves the tooth vulnerable because, with the crown removed, you’ve now exposed the much softer dentin of the tooth.
My Crown Fell Out But it Doesn’t Hurt - Do I Need to Replace it?
Just like with all restorations, dental crowns have a lifespan and can fall out or break once weakened or compromised. Though your natural tooth and the gums around it might not hurt, the fragile area is susceptible to more breakage which could lead to an increased risk of infection resulting in a root canal. If your crown fell out but it doesn't hurt, you will still need to schedule an appointment with a dentist right away.
Can I Glue My Crown Back On?
Dental crowns can be glued back on using special dental cement that can be bought over-the-counter at many drug stores. That said, dental cement is NOT a long-term solution. If your crown has fallen out, first call your dentist to see what they recommend. If dental cement is recommended until you can be seen, follow instructions carefully and ensure you schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.
My Temporary Crown Fell Out - What Should I Do Now?
Temporary crowns are designed to be "placeholders" for permanent crowns. Unfortunately, they're not as strong as permanent crowns and it's not unusual for patients to lose them ahead of their next appointment. If your temporary crown fell out, call your dentist right away for further instructions. If you aren't able to attend an emergency appointment, they may recommend that you clean the area and use over-the-counter dental cement in the meantime.
My Permanent Crown Fell Out - What Should I Do Now?
First thing to do is save the crown. Unless you damaged or destroyed the crown when you crunched down on it (not likely), we should be able to permanently reattach it. If you can’t come in to see Dr. Game right away, use a toothbrush to carefully clean the outside and the socket of the crown, as well as the remaining tooth. You may need to use a paperclip or some other piece of wire to remove any excess glue from the socket of the crown.
Once you have everything cleaned out, it’s time for a test fit. Try placing the crown back on the tooth. If it doesn’t fit one way, try turning the crown. It may slide in at an angle or from the side. Once you have placed the crown (without cement at this point) on the tooth, bite down gently to set the tooth. It should not feel high or out of line. Once you are able to comfortably seat the tooth, remove it and temporarily glue it in place. Use a temporary crown adhesive – you can find this at most pharmacies.
Give Us a Call!
Now that you’ve done what you can to save the tooth, give us a call. Dr. Game will want to examine the tooth to make sure there was no damage, and then permanently reattach the crown so you won’t have to deal with that problem again!
Johns Island dentist Dr. Game and the whole staff here at Stono Dental Care look forward to seeing you soon, whether it is for a dental emergency or your routine semi-annual cleanings.