Crowns last a very long time. But if you lose one, it’s not the end of the world.
Dental crowns restore a severely damaged or decayed tooth. With a crown, you can chew normally with a fully functional tooth. But while crowns are made of strong, durable material, they sometimes can fall out for various reasons.
For instance, chewing on hard or sticky foods can dislodge a crown. If the crown chips, its hold on the natural tooth gradually erodes. A crown can loosen if the tooth underneath becomes decayed, further weakening its bond with the tooth. An injury to the jaw can also force a crown out of place. Whatever the reason, you can take steps to save your lost dental crown and the natural tooth beneath it.
Saving the crown: Learn the dos and don’ts
Losing a dental crown can be upsetting at first. But there’s no need to worry! You’ll be fine as long as you follow some easy dos and don’ts:
DO save and clean the crown. If it’s in good condition, your dentist can cement it to your tooth again without having to make a new (and expensive) crown.
DO call your dentist for the earliest possible appointment. Leaving the tooth below the crown unprotected could lead to further deterioration or decay. You may experience pain and sensitivity around the tooth, as well.
DO be careful when brushing and flossing around the tooth where the crown was.
DON’T chew on the same side as the missing crown until it’s replaced. Avoid hard, sticky foods.
DON’T swallow the crown. Granted, it’s easy to swallow the crown accidentally. If you feel the crown coming loose or completely detached, retrieve it immediately, so you don’t swallow it.
DON’T glue it back with regular glue. It can be poisonous! Instead, if you must attach it by yourself, try to do so with dental adhesive or sugar-free gum. But it’s best to wait for your dentist to do it for you.
Unless you underwent a same-day crown procedure, you’ll have had a temporary crown placed on the tooth. Like permanent crowns, temporary crowns can detach. The same dos and don’ts apply to keep the temporary crown intact until a permanent one is affixed.
After examining the crown and your tooth, your dentist will decide whether the old crown can be sealed over the tooth again. If the crown is badly damaged, a new one will be made and refitted to your tooth.
Preserving your crown
Dental crowns can last many years. To extend the life of the crown and avoid another lengthy dental restoration procedure, you can preserve it with the following tips:
Avoid chewing on hard, sticky foods. That’s not to say you should never eat hard, sticky foods. Just be careful, as such foods can displace the crown. The same goes for chewing on ice.
Follow good oral hygiene practices. Treat your crown as you would any other tooth. Brush and floss daily to prevent decay from reaching the tooth below the crown. Or, you can buy an interdental brush, a wider brush able to reach between teeth and remove plaque buildup around the tooth, crown, and gums.
Wear a nightguard. Grinding your teeth at night can wear down and even crack the crown, weakening it. Wearing a nightguard protects the crown and your tooth from further damage.
We’re the crown specialists
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Oklahoma City location today! Our highly trained dentists are experts in fitting dental crowns and making them last a lifetime. Don’t live near our Oklahoma City office? Find one of our other locations near you.
Oklahoma City, OK
12448 St Andrews Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73120