April 20, 2022
Dental crowns are caps that cover the entire visible part of a tooth. They are mostly used when a tooth is severely damaged or decayed and can’t be treated with a dental filling. Dental crowns can also complete the look of a tooth after a root canal or if it has significant cosmetic flaws. Though they often last around 15 years, these restorations aren’t impervious to damage or loss. If one of yours falls out, follow these three steps to handle a lost dental crown until your dentist can fix it for you.
Step #1: Contact Your Dentist
The first thing you should do if one of your dental crowns falls out is to contact your dentist. Explain what happened in detail. They’ll be able to help you make an appointment to come in and have your lost dental crown fixed. They will also walk you through what to do next as well as ways to keep yourself comfortable while you wait for your appointment.
Step #2: Locate the Crown
Look for the crown and place it in a plastic sandwich bag for safekeeping. Be sure to take it with you to your appointment. Your dentist may be able to reattach it. If you aren’t able to find it or the crown can’t be reused, they will have a new one made.
Step #3: Inspect Your Mouth
See if there are any pieces of the crown still stuck where it used to be. Additionally, try to determine if the underlying tooth is broken, if any sharp edges are poking out, or if you’re in serious pain. This information will allow your dentist to determine if your situation warrants emergency treatment.
Step #4: Mitigate Discomfort and Prevent Damage
Along with the tips your dentist gave you during your phone call about how to prevent further damage to the tooth and make things more comfortable until your appointment, other ways to improve your situation in the meantime include:
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever – This will help minimize pain or sensitivity. You can also apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10 minutes at a time to lessen swelling.
- Rinse – Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm waterand rinse with the mixture to prevent infection and alleviate pain.
- Use dental wax – If there are any jagged or sharp edges where the crown should be, use dental wax to protect your cheeks or tongue from damage.
- Chew carefully –Try not to eat until the tooth is repaired to prevent additional sensitivity and keep food debris from getting stuck in the area. If you eat before your dentist can see you, do so on the other side of your mouth and chew carefully.
- Replace your crown –Only replace the crown if your dentist instructs you to do so. Otherwise, keep it in a clean, dry container and bring it with you to your appointment.
Luckily, lost dental crowns are uncommon. If one of yours falls off, follow the above steps to get a handle on things. Your dentist will soon have you come in to have it repaired so you can get your smile back on track!
About the Author
If you have a lost dental crown that needs to be repaired, Framingham Premier Dental is here to help. Led by Dr. Marianna Gaitsgory and Dr. Jean-Marie Biebuyk, they will evaluate the damage and determine the best option to repair the tooth so you can have a healthy, complete smile once again. If you’re ready to make an appointment or are interested in learning more about dental crowns, visit their website or call (508) 875-0900.
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