Broken or Missing Crowns?
Has your permanent dental crown or bridge fallen off and you can’t get to our Westbrook dental office right away?
If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what to do:
- If this is a permanent crown, put it in a very safe place. You will need to bring this with you to the dentist. (See below what to do if it is temporary)
- Don’t chew on that side
- Clean your teeth as normal including the tooth that had the crown. This tooth may be sensitive, but usually to a tolerable degree
- We don’t recommend putting the crown back in yourself. If you don’t get it in right, it won’t fit your tooth, your bite will be off and you could damage something. There is also the risk of swallowing or aspirating it if it comes off again.
- If it’s one of your front teeth, you can make an exception here since you don’t chew with those teeth and people tend to be real careful with front teeth. If your crown can be cleaned on the inside go ahead and gently scrape at it. A little Chapstick or some Fixodent inside the crown can sometimes hold it temporarily until you can be seen at our Gorham and Westbrook dental office.
- Do not attempt to re-glue the crown with a household glue such as Super Glue. This can make it impossible to get the crown back on properly and result in needing a whole new crown made.
- Get to the dentist as soon as possible for the best chance that the crown can be successfully re-cemented.
THESE ARE NOT A LONG TERM SOLUTIONS. Don’t be deceived if you are not having any pain or discomfort; if you leave this situation for a long time, the crown will no longer fit the space and the remaining tooth structure will decay and you may even lose the tooth.
If the crown is left off for too long a time your teeth will shift and we may not be able to get your crown back in place at all. What’s too long? It varies, but sometimes even a few days is enough to make it very difficult to put the crown back on. The best time to get it put back is as soon as possible.
What to do if the crown or bridge that came off is temporary: Our Westbrook dental office recommends, in this situation, there is less concern about damage to the crown. Also teeth that were recently worked on tend to be more sensitive. So putting it back on with some temporary cement, wax, Chapstick or Fixodent is more often the best thing to do if you can’t get to the dentist within a day or so of when it comes off. Even if there is no discomfort, don’t let that make you think it is ok to leave your temporary off for more than a day or two; your tooth may move and cause the permanent crown not to fit.