My Crown Fell Out — Is This a Dental Emergency?

Dental crowns fall out for a variety of reasons. Biting down on something hard or chewy or a sharp blow to the jaw could knock a crown loose. The gradual loosening of dental crowns can also happen if a crown gets chipped but does not fall out at that time. Even the smallest chip can lead to loss of crown integrity as the chip enlarges and weakens the adherence of the crown to the tooth.

So, what should you do if a crown falls out? Is it considered a dental emergency? Here’s what you should know:

Crowns Should Be Replaced As Soon As Possible

If your crown falls out and you accidentally swallow it, don't panic. Crowns are made of non-toxic, ceramic material and will pass naturally. But if you don't swallow the crown (and hopefully you won't!), pour hydrogen peroxide over the crown to sterilize it before placing it in a small, plastic container (a pillbox, for example), then contact us to replace the crown. A dental crown falling off a tooth should be considered a dental emergency.

Most people have dental crowns to protect a cracked/chipped but still intact tooth, to insulate a tooth following a root canal, or to try and save a decayed tooth that cannot hold a filling. When a lost crown is not replaced promptly, a crownless tooth will deteriorate quickly. Neglecting to get a dental crown back on a tooth also increases the risk of the tooth becoming loose, falling out, or crumbling into pieces.

NEVER use super glue to adhere the crown yourself. You might think this is a decent temporary fix until you can get to the dentist, but it will not work and could:

  • Poison you. Certain glues contain toxic substances that, when ingested, can cause serious signs of poisoning

  • Worsen tooth damage. The inside of a dental crown is coated with a dental adhesive that needs to be removed before your dentist puts it back on the tooth. Simply applying glue on top of dental adhesive means the crown will not fit properly. Chewing on a dental crown that doesn't fit correctly could cause unnecessary chipping or cracking of dental enamel.

Is It Safe to Eat or Drink Before Getting a Lost Dental Crown Replaced?

Dentists recommend not using a crownless tooth to chew with. For example, if a molar on the right side of your mouth lost a crown, chew only on the left side of your mouth. Allowing cold drinks or food to touch the tooth may cause pain, so try to avoid that from happening as well. Do not attempt to chew hard or chewy foods using a tooth that has lost a dental crown.

How Does a Dentist Replace a Crown?

In many cases, you won't need a new crown made to replace the old crown. If the old crown is not damaged and the uncovered tooth is in the same condition it was at the time of receiving the crown, your old crown should be reusable. A dentist will examine the old crown and your tooth before determining if a new one should be made. However, getting to the dentist as soon as you can after a dental crown falls off significantly increases the chance you won't have to wait — or pay — for a new crown.

For immediate replacement of a lost dental crown or any other dental emergency, contact Bloom Dental of Arlington today.

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We look forward to hearing from you. Call us now! 703-243-3600