Emergency Situations: What to Do if Your Dental Crown Falls Off by Burke Dental

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Imagine you’re enjoying a delicious steak, savoring each flavorful bite. Suddenly, you feel a strange sensation in your mouth. Panic might rise as you realize your dental crown has come loose. Don’t worry, though. This situation is more common than you might think, and you can take steps to address it calmly and effectively.

First, take a deep breath. Losing a crown can be surprising, but it’s not a dental emergency in the traditional sense. However, it’s important to act quickly to protect your exposed tooth and get your smile back to looking its best. This guide will walk you through what to do if your dental crown falls off — from immediate actions to long-term preventive measures. Let’s go!

Why Do Crowns Fall Off? Understanding the Causes

Dental crowns are incredibly durable restorations designed to last for many years. However, several factors can contribute to a crown becoming loose or breaking.

Some of the most common causes of a crown falling off include:

  • Normal Wear and Tear: Over time, everyday chewing and grinding can wear down the cement that secures the crown to your tooth.
  • Improper Bite: An uneven bite can put extra stress on the crown, causing it to loosen or fracture.
  • Underlying Decay: Occasionally, decay beneath the crown can weaken the tooth structure, compromising the crown’s stability and causing it to fall off.
  • External Trauma: Accidents happen! Biting down on hard objects or experiencing a hard blow to the mouth can damage or loosen the crown.

What to Do When a Crown Falls Off

The key to managing a fallen crown is swift action. Here’s what to do:

  1. Locate the Crown: First things first; find the crown! Look around carefully, check your napkin and even retrace your steps if you think you might have dropped it somewhere. It’s crucial to keep the crown safe. Don’t throw it away or accidentally swallow it.
  2. Cleaning the Crown: Once you have the crown, gently rinse it with clean water to remove any debris.
  3. Contact Your Dentist: This is the most important step. Call Burke Dental office as soon as possible, and explain the situation. They will assess the urgency and schedule an appointment to address the exposed tooth.
  4. Emergency Appointment: While losing a crown isn’t necessarily an immediate dental emergency, it’s important to get it checked out promptly. Depending on your dentist’s availability and the condition of the exposed tooth, they might be able to see you the same day or schedule an appointment for the next day.

Protecting the Exposed Tooth Until Your Appointment

The exposed tooth might be sensitive to cold or hot temperatures as well as pressure.

Here are some tips to care for your crown until your appointment:

  • Soft Food Diet: Opt for a soft food diet to minimize pressure on the sensitive area. Stick to foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, or cooked vegetables.
  • Gentle Brushing: Carefully brush around the exposed tooth with a soft-bristled brush and warm water. Be gentle and don’t apply too much pressure.
  • Pain Management: If you’re experiencing discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen might help. Always ask your dentist for recommendations on pain management. Your primary care provider may also be able to help with pain management.

What to Expect During Your Dental Appointment

Dr. Ghanavati will examine the crown and the exposed tooth to determine the best course of action. If the crown is intact and the tooth structure allows, the dentist might be able to reattach the crown using a stronger bonding agent. This is often the most preferred option, as it’s quicker and more cost-effective.

Unfortunately, you’ll need a new crown if yours is damaged beyond repair or the underlying tooth requires additional treatment like a root canal. Dr. Ghanavati will discuss the process of creating and fitting a new crown to match your smile seamlessly.

Preventing Future Crown Loss

Losing a crown can be a hassle. While it’s not an emergency, it’s a situation that’s best to avoid.

Here are some tips for preventing future crown loss:

  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings at least twice a year. This allows Dr. Ghanavati to identify potential issues with your crowns early on and take steps to address them.
  • Brush with a soft brush twice daily and floss once a day. Proper technique is the key to removing plaque and bacteria that can contribute to decay and crown loosening.
  • If you grind or clench your teeth at night, your dentist might recommend a nightguard. This custom-made mouthguard helps cushion your teeth and prevent them from excessive wear and tear, which can loosen crowns.
  • While you don’t need to avoid all hard foods, be mindful of those that can put undue stress on your crowns, such as hard candy, nutshells, or ice.
  • If you notice your crown feeling less secure, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. They’re more likely to be able to reattach it if it hasn’t already fallen off completely. Plus, seeking prompt dental care minimizes the risk of losing or swallowing a loose crown once it finally falls off.

Closing Thoughts

Losing a dental crown can be a disruptive experience, but by following these steps, you can manage the situation effectively. Remember, prompt action is key! The good news is, with a visit to Burke Dental, you can often get your crown reattached or replaced, restoring your smile and oral health. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist if you have any questions or concerns about your dental crown or your overall oral health. They’re there to help.

By prioritizing regular checkups, maintaining good hygiene habits, and making informed choices, you can prevent future crown loss and keep your smile healthy and strong for years to come.