If you have a loose dental crown, don’t panic. Dental crowns can last for years, but everything fails sometimes, and coming loose is a common problem for dental crowns. But if you respond properly, it won’t necessarily harm your tooth, and the crown can often be put back in place.
The first thing to do when you have a loose crown is to contact your dentist. The sooner you can get in, the better. If your crown is in good shape, it can often be cemented back in place with little trouble, but the sooner you get in, the better. The longer you wait after a dental crown is loose or has come off, the more likely it is that the dentin underneath the crown (which is vulnerable to both decay and wear) will change shape so that the crown won’t fit anymore.
If your dental crown is loose but hasn’t come completely off your tooth, you can try to keep it on a little longer by chewing in other parts of your mouth. This isn’t a guarantee that it won’t come off, but it might help. You need to be very careful in this situation, because the worst thing would be for the crown to come off and have you swallow it.
If your dental crown has come off completely, you can try to secure it in place with temporary dental cement, but never do this without asking your dentist about it first. It won’t last particularly well, but it will hold it in place for many situations. This can be especially important if your crown is in a visible place and you don’t want to have to hide it all day at work or at a special event.
Having the crown secured with temporary cement can also protect the dentin against abrasion or decay, and it can make the tooth less sensitive to hot and cold.
Before gluing the crown back on, make sure the tooth is free of all debris. The last thing you want is to glue your crown on with a supply of food for bacteria under there where you can’t get it. Once the tooth is clean, consider using an antibacterial rinse. Don’t forget to clean and rinse the inside of the crown, too.
Test seat the crown to make sure you have the proper orientation. Then put a small amount of adhesive inside the crown and place it back on.
Since most of the time crowns come off during chewing, it’s not unusual for people to swallow crowns. If you want to recover the crown, you can try to induce vomiting or search through your bowel movements for the lost crown.
If you actually swallowed the crown into your stomach, it’s unlikely to cause problems. However, if it got into your airway, you may be in trouble. If you coughed a lot when swallowing the crown or if you feel any chest discomfort or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention.
The good news is that even if you lost a crown, we can get you a new one in a single appointment with our CEREC system. For help with a loose or lost crown, please contact Ascent Dental, in the Cherry Creek area of Denver.