Dental crowns are a common and effective dental restoration used to repair damaged or weakened teeth, restoring their functionality and appearance. While crowns are known for their durability, they may occasionally become loose or fall out due to various factors. When this happens, it’s important to know how to respond promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the best possible outcome for your oral health. In this article, we will explore what dental crowns are, why they may become loose or dislodged, and the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a custom-made cap or covering that is placed over a damaged or compromised tooth. Crowns are designed to restore the tooth’s shape, size, strength, and appearance. They can be made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of these materials.
Dental crowns serve several important functions:
- Restoring Damaged Teeth: Crowns repair teeth that have been significantly decayed, cracked, or fractured. They provide structural support to the weakened tooth, preventing further damage.
- Protecting After Root Canal Therapy: Teeth that have undergone root canal therapy often become brittle. A crown is placed over the treated tooth to protect it from fracture and reinfection.
- Enhancing Aesthetics: Crowns are used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of teeth with severe discoloration, irregular shapes, or other cosmetic issues.
- Supporting Dental Bridges: Crowns anchor dental bridges, which replace missing teeth by spanning the gap between adjacent natural teeth.
- Covering Dental Implants: Crowns are placed over dental implants to replicate the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
What If a Dental Crown Becomes Loose or Falls Out?
A loose or dislodged dental crown can be concerning, but knowing how to respond can make a significant difference in preserving your oral health. Here are the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:
1. Retrieve the Crown (If Possible)
If your dental crown becomes loose but hasn’t completely fallen out, try to retrieve it carefully. Handle it by the crown (top part) and avoid touching the inner surface, which may contain adhesive or cement.
2. Assess the Tooth
Examine the underlying tooth to ensure it is free of debris or foreign material. Rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm water to clean the area.
3. Attempt to Reattach the Crown (Temporarily)
Sometimes, a loose crown can be temporarily reattached at home until you can see your dentist. To attempt this:
- Clean the inner surface of the crown.
- Apply a dental adhesive, over-the-counter temporary dental cement, or denture adhesive to the inner surface of the crown.
- Gently place the crown back onto the tooth, ensuring it fits properly and is not forced into place.
- Bite gently on gauze or a clean cloth to keep the crown in place. Avoid biting down with excessive force.
4. Contact Your Dentist
Regardless of whether you can reattach the crown temporarily, it is crucial to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Look for a reputable and premium dental office in Duluth GA, for immediate assistance. The experienced professionals will be able to guide you through the proper steps to rectify the issue. A dental professional should always evaluate loose or dislodged crowns to determine the cause and ensure proper reattachment or replacement.
5. Avoid Chewing on the Affected Side
Until you can see your dentist, try to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth with the loose or missing crown. This will help prevent further damage to the tooth or any potential discomfort.
6. Manage Sensitivity
If the exposed tooth becomes sensitive or painful, use over-the-counter dental wax to cover the area temporarily. Dental wax can provide relief by creating a protective barrier.
At times, professional help might be needed, such as urgent care for dental pain. This could happen when the underlying dental structure gets exposed, causing extreme pain or discomfort, or when the crown falls out entirely. In such situations, quick action is needed to avoid infection or damage to the tooth.
7. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Continue to brush and floss your teeth as usual, but be gentle around the affected area. Keeping the area clean is essential to prevent infection or further damage.
Undergoing restorative dental treatment is often required in these instances. Treatments like a CEREC crown transformation could be recommended, depending on the condition of your tooth structure. This state-of-the-art treatment utilizes high-end technology to provide a custom-fit dental crown, often during a single visit.
What Your Dentist Will Do
When you visit your dentist, they will assess the condition of your dental crown and the underlying tooth. Depending on the situation, your dentist may:
- Reattach the Crown: If the crown is undamaged and fits well, your dentist may reattach it using dental adhesive or cement.
- Replace the Crown: If the crown is damaged or does not fit properly, your dentist may need to take impressions and create a new crown to ensure a secure and snug fit.
- Check the Underlying Tooth: Your dentist will examine the underlying tooth to ensure it is healthy and free from decay or other issues. They will address any underlying dental problems before reattaching or replacing the crown if necessary.
A loose or dislodged dental crown can be concerning, but taking the right steps promptly can help minimize potential complications. If your dental crown becomes loose or falls out, retrieve it if possible, clean the area, and try to reattach it temporarily with dental adhesive. However, always contact your dentist immediately for a professional evaluation and necessary repairs. Prompt attention to a loose dental crown can help ensure your tooth’s continued health and functionality.