According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, approximately 15 million Americans have replaced a missing or severely damaged tooth with a bridge or dental crown. If you have a dental crown, your cosmetic dentist has provided you with detailed instructions to help ensure the crown doesn't fail and that your mouth stays healthy. Although this is rare, there is still a chance that your dental crown will fall out, and that would leave your tooth vulnerable to further damage and decay. If you suddenly lose a crown, here are the steps to take to prevent further damage to your tooth.
Moving Forward After the Crown Falls Out
The moment the crown's cement fails and falls into your mouth, it's important to remove it immediately with your fingers. Otherwise, you run the risk of swallowing or inhaling it. Don't worry if you swallow the crown because chances are, it will pass through your digestive tract without incident, and your dentist can fit you with a replacement.
Now that you have the crown in your hand, it's important to examine it thoroughly. If a small chunk of your tooth is attached to the crown, you will not be able to temporarily place the crown over your exposed tooth. However, if the crown is hollow or there is a small piece of metal sticking out of it, you can temporarily reattach the crown to your exposed tooth.
In addition to saving the crown, which will also save you money, by reattaching it to your exposed tooth, you will protect the tooth from further damage and decay.
If the crown can be salvaged, clean it off with plain water and your toothbrush. Additionally, if the tooth isn't too painful, you can carefully clean it with your toothbrush, as well. Now that you have salvaged the crown, go ahead and contact your dentist.
Let the dentist know that your crown has failed and needs to be reattached. If you are in any pain, the dentist will want to see you as quickly as possible. Otherwise, it's okay if you don't see your dentist that day. Instead, you can temporarily reattach the crown, which will help protect it and your tooth while you wait for your appointment.
Purchasing and Using Temporary Crown Cement
Luckily, reattaching your crown to your exposed tooth is simple. All you need is a product called temporary crown cement, which is available at your local pharmacy. This product is similar to the cement your cosmetic dentist used to attach the crown. However, remember that this is only a temporary solution, and you will need to visit your dentist to have the crown permanently reattached.
Before you apply the temporary crown cement, it's important to dry off your exposed tooth and the crown. If both your tooth and crown are dry, the cement will be more effective. Next, apply a dab of the temporary cement to the crown and gently press it against the exposed tooth.
If your crown isn't salvageable, you can place a small amount of the temporary cement on your exposed tooth. This will help protect your tooth from further damage and can also help eliminate some of the discomfort that can occur after your crown falls off.
Visiting at the Dentist's Office
Once again, it's vital to get to the dentist as quickly as possible after the crown falls out, especially if you are experiencing pain. The dentist can examine the crown to determine whether it is salvageable and take the necessary steps to reattach the crown. This involves removing the temporary cement from the crown and your exposed tooth and cleaning both to help ensure they adhere more effectively.
Your dental crown has provided you with a reason to smile. If the crown accidentally falls out, don't panic. Instead follow these steps to help save both the crown and your exposed tooth.