Dental crowns or caps are employed when a tooth has become highly damaged, decayed, or discoloured. They help the tooth blend in with its neighbours and makes it easier to use your teeth overall. Permanent crowns are bonded to the tooth and you can go years without even remembering you have one. Unfortunately, this can come to a halt if the crown becomes unstuck or “debonded.”
What Makes Crowns Fall Out?
There are a few different causes that can make a crown fall out. Any sudden impact can loosen the crown, whether from injury or biting down hard on a very solid or chewy piece of food. The impact itself doesn’t need to knock off the crown immediately. It can chip a piece off or damage the foundation, leading to a structural instability that leads to its eventual falling out. Habitually grinding your teeth can cause a similar effect as well.
The underlying tooth can also decay. The thin margin where the tooth meets the edge of the crown can decay in instances such as a high sugar diet, poor oral care in general, or if a gap forms from an ill-fitted crown. In this case, the decay will weaken the tooth and cause the crown to fall out.
It’s also possible that the crown’s bonder has failed. In some cases, the cement that keeps the crown in place will leach out over time and lose its holding power. This is, fortunately, the simplest situation to remedy and one of the most common.
The Crown Fell Out; Now What?
First, make sure you don’t swallow the crown. If you do, it will pass harmlessly, but it’s better to not have to deal with that. Second, contact your dentist as soon as possible to arrange for the crown to be properly fitted back on. Once that’s accomplished (and if you followed the first step), sterilize and wash the crown then keep it safely in a small container to bring to your appointment.
The newly-exposed tooth will likely feel disconcerting or unusual since its lack of exposure to temperature, pressure, or open air has left it rather sensitive (if the tooth is still alive). The tooth also needs to be kept clean and clear of food debris to keep any from lodging in place. This will both make the reattachment easier and prevent debris from getting into the root, depending on whether your crown had a post or not.
If the tooth was at the front of your mouth, you may feel the need to replace it temporarily for aesthetics. Do not use superglue for this. It will be unpleasant for you, a headache for your dentist, and damaging to the crown. Drugstores will sell dental-approved temporary cement that you can use instead. They won’t hold it as well as before, and you should avoid putting pressure on the tooth once in place, but it will last a day or two until you visit your dentist.
Common Examples of a Dental Crown Failing or Falling Out
If you’ve ever undergone dental crown treatment and are now noticing a few very specific issues with the affected tooth, then it’s absolutely crucial that you seek immediate medical attention from your dentist. Keep in mind that losing a crown qualifies as a dental emergency. The following is a list of some of the most common situations in which people have had to receive emergency dental care regarding their dental crowns:
The crown fell out and there’s no tooth left
If this is something you’ve experienced or can relate to, then you should notify your dental professional immediately as severe tooth decay could be the culprit. This is usually the result of a poorly placed dental crown or one that hasn’t been sealed properly or has not been kept clean. If this is the case, then bacteria can easily penetrate the weak barrier between the internal and external portion of the crown, which can lead to a great deal of pain, sensitivity, and tooth decay.
The crown and affected tooth are emitting a foul smell or taste
This is one of the primary indicators of tooth decay beneath the surface of the crown. To prevent this, you should floss and brush your teeth regularly with attention to the affected tooth. It’s important to floss the area after every meal or snack to prevent food particles from becoming lodged between the crown and the gum line. If you notice a disgusting smell or taste coming out of the crown, then it’s time to visit your dentist for a checkup because it’s possible that the bonding agent was either poorly placed or it’s weakened over time. Avoid eating any hard, sticky, crunchy, or creamy foods in the meantime.
The crown fell out, but the post is still attached
Sometimes, you might be going about your usual business and eating the foods you normally enjoy but then you notice that you take a bite out of something only to find that your crown has become detached. The first thing you should do is remove it from your mouth if it’s still in there to avoid accidentally swallowing it. The only problem if you do end up swallowing it is that it could be a potential choking hazard, but other than that, it should easily pass through your system. However, it’s best to do everything in your power to avoid this type of situation because as long as the crown is still in good condition, your dentist might still be able to reattach it. Before bringing the crown to your dentist, make sure you gently sterilize and clean it. You should also try to gently clean the affected tooth to remove any food remnants.
The dental crown fell off at the gum line
In this case, the dentist will either need to reapply the fallen crown if it’s still in good enough condition or they’ll need to replace it completely if reapplying it isn’t possible. Either way, you need to get to an emergency dental clinic immediately to avoid the chance of infection or losing the tooth altogether.
Crown is loose, but still partially attached
Call your dentist and schedule an emergency appointment immediately. This could be because of decay or something broken on your tooth or a cracked tooth.
Permanent crown feels loose
If a permanent crown feels loose please call your dentist to have it checked immediately. It may be as simple as re-cementing the crown back on or be more serious like the tooth under the crown has broken.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions patients have regarding how to care for, treat, and repair their dental crowns.
1.Can I still eat and drink after my dental crown has fallen out?
It’s better if you avoid eating and drinking any substances in that area until after the dental crown has been repaired or replaced. Most likely, the reason the dental crown became detached in the first place was because you were indulging in a food that was too hard, crunchy, or sticky for the tooth to handle and the damaged state of the tooth underneath won’t be able to handle that kind of pressure. It may be the reason you had to get the dental crown in the first place.
2.Why is the tooth under the dental crown black?
If the tooth underneath the dental crown is discoloured or black, then this is a sign of numerous possible dental issues. It usually means that bacteria has managed to seep beneath the surface of the crown either because it was inadequately sealed or because it’s sustained either some minor or major damaged that should be addressed and fixed as soon as possible.
3.Can a loose crown be repaired?
Sometimes. As long as you follow the proper cleaning protocol for both the exposed tooth and the detached dental crown and immediately schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist, then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to repair the damage and restore the dental crown to its former glory. Your dentist will simply need to use a strong bonding agent to secure the crown back in place.
4.Should I try to pull out my loose crown?
It’s best not to attempt to pull out the loose crown as this can cause some damage to the affected tooth and the surrounding teeth. It could even shift some of the surrounding teeth out of place. The best temporary solution is to visit your local drugstore and purchase a temporary dental crown adhesive until you can get to the dentist. It’s advised that you don’t simply let the loose crown dangle in your mouth for a prolonged period of time because it could pose a serious choking hazard if it breaks off while you’re eating or sleeping. If the situation is dire, then it’s important that you visit a dental crown treatment facility in Toronto!
At the Office
Once you’ve arrived at your dentist’s office, they will need to assess both the condition of the tooth and the state of the crown. Depending on the cause of the falling out, you may need a new crown altogether, a different type of crown, or a simple replacement. The most important part is not to delay going in.
Princeview Dental has been a fixture of the Kingsway area in Etobicoke for over 20 years, where we’ve provided dedicated family care in a professional, welcoming, and modern environment. For more information, please visit our web site.