Crowns are both durable and attractive but they are not invincible. Over the years they can weaken and it’s not impossible for an issue to occur with a recent crown. So, what can you do if your crown came off? In this article we’ll give you the answer to this and let you know a little more about the durability of the different types of crowns so that you can pick out a suitable replacement in the unfortunate event of a fallen crown.
What causes a crown to come off?
The first thing to consider is this: is this a temporary crown? Before your crown is fabricated in the lab, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown and there are a few ‘ground rules’ which go with that:
- Try not to chew on that side of your mouth
- Avoid sticky foods like gum, taffy, and caramel
- Avoid hard foods
What if this is not a temporary crown?
If this is NOT a temporary crown then there are still a few reasons why it might fall off. For instance, if there is not a substantial amount of tooth that it is attached to then you may need to see the dentist again for a refit. Aside from this, a freshly-applied crown may fall off if there is an inadequate amount of dental cement or if the fit is not perfect. Oder crowns can fall out too, be it based on the materials wearing down or the beginning of tooth decay.
In a case like this, be the crown temporary or permanent, the proper action is going to be cleaning the tooth gently and putting the crown back in place with a temporary dental adhesive (available at most pharmacies). Once this is done, contact your dentist for a refitting.
Yes, if it is not damaged then it is possible to remove and re-use a crown. During your dental appointment if a refitting is required your dentist will be able to take a look and determine if your crown may be re-used or if a new one will need to be made.
Can a crown be superglued back on?
While superglue sounds like a good idea, you will want to avoid using it to reattach your crown. It is not intended for your mouth and toxic, but that’s not all. Superglue is also water soluble to an extent, so even if you glued the crown back in perfectly, the superglue is going to slowly leach out of the tooth. Temporary dental adhesive is going to be your best bet until you can get back in to see the dentist.
What can I do to prevent my crown from falling off in the future?
The first thing to do when considering a replacement crown is to consider the materials. Some crowns only last about 5 years, while others can last up to 15 years or more if properly cared for. Crowns are typically available in the following materials:
- Metal crowns – Typically made of nickel, gold, palladium, or chromium, these crowns are quite durable but most often used for teeth which are not as visible since they do not look like natural teeth.
- Porcelain and ceramic crowns – These mimic the look of your regular teeth quite well but are not as strong as metal fused to porcelain. These are a good choice if you have metal allergies.
- Pressed ceramic crowns – Capped with porcelain, these crowns have a tough inner core and last longer than regular porcelain or ceramic crowns.
“Wear and tear can reveal the metal underneath over time.”
- Porcelain fused to metal – With the look of porcelain to match your teeth and the added strength of the infused metals, these crowns are a popular choice. One caveat, however, is that wear and tear can reveal the metal underneath over time.
- Resin – These are the least durable of the list. They are cosmetically pleasing and quite affordable but they are vulnerable to cracking.
What else can be done to keep my crown from falling off again?
With good materials and proper can your crowns can last a very long time, but you will want to be sure to invest in a little preventive maintenance. Some good oral hygiene can go a long way, so be sure that you get into the habit of the following:
- Brush and floss regularly – Always brush at a 45 degree angle, making small circles as you clean. Flossing regularly is a good idea as well but you will want to do it right. Twisting your fingers in either end of the floss, make a U-shaped looped to place over the teeth and gently floss as you go. Change floss regularly so that it stays fresh for best results!
- Avoid chewing hard foods with your crown – While crowns are strong, if you have crowns on one side of your mouth and not the other it might be a good idea with hard foods to chew a little more on the side with your natural teeth. This can help to avoid adding additional stresses to your crown.
- Tell your dentist if you grind your teeth – Bruxism is more common than you think. If you sometimes wake up with a sore jaw or notice some odd ‘filing’ effects on your teeth, then you might be grinding them together when you sleep. Your dentist can make a mouth guard that you can wear while sleeping to put a stop to tooth grinding right away!
- Don’t skip those dentist appointments – Regular cleanings are a great idea and can extend the life of ALL of your teeth, so don’t skip those appointments!
Some final words
In this article we’ve discussed what you should do if your crown falls out. If this happens to you, make sure to clean it, replace it with a little dental adhesive, and get to your dentist. Don’t panic, things will be just fine!