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Frequently Asked Questions About Lost Dental Crowns

If you bite down hard on a piece of food or have sustained a blow to the face, you may notice that your dental crown is loose or has fallen off. When this occurs, your mind may race with questions. Here are a few frequently asked questions related to losing dental crowns and the answers. 

What Causes You to Lose a Dental Crown? 

The most common reason why you can lose a dental crown is from force. This force includes biting down quickly on hard items or a blow to the face, such as being elbowed in the jaw while playing a game of basketball. But sometimes, the cement that holds your dental crown in place over the tooth simply loosens and the crown can slip off. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the crown to ensure it is stable, helping to minimize the chances of the latter happening. 

What Should You Do After You Have Lost a Dental Crown? 

If you have lost a crown, you will want to save it if possible. Crowns may be able to be reapplied to the tooth if they are not cracked or chipped and are otherwise in good condition. If you can save the crown, rinse it off in clean water and then place it in a small Ziploc bag so it does not get lost. 

After you have saved the crown, contact your dentist. Your dentist will want to see you within a few days of the crown falling off. The tooth that lost the crown is subject to cracking and breaking without the crown and you may be uncomfortable eating or drinking without the crown. 

Finally, you will want to keep the affected area as clean as possible until your dental appointment. Most dentists will recommend that you rinse the area with a saltwater rinse at least once per day, as well as brushing regularly to remove food particles that can get stuck in the exposed damaged tooth. 

Is a Lost Dental Crown a Dental Emergency? 

In most cases, a dental crown falling off of your tooth is not a dental emergency. The exception to this is when you are in extreme pain or if you are showing signs of an abscess being present. However, while it is not a dental emergency, most dentists will get you in within a few days. This minimizes the risk of infection, helps to protect the already weakened tooth and can get you out of the discomfort that you may be in due to losing the crown. 

A dental crown helps to protect a tooth that is weakened. If your crown falls off, you need to be aware that the tooth is weak and avoid eating or chewing hard foods on that side of the mouth until the dentist can fit you in. If you fail to do this, the tooth can crack or break, and you may need to have it extracted. If your crown falls off, call your dentist during normal business hours to schedule and appointment and discuss how to care for the area until your appointment.