Crowns are exceptionally versatile solutions for lots of problems with teeth, but they don’t last forever. In the best of situations, a crown placed over one of your natural teeth typically has a 10 to 20-year lifespan. Having to deal with loose dental crowns in Red Deer or even having one replaced isn’t anything to be worried about, but it’s still something that you should know about in advance.
Why do crowns get loose?
Dental crowns are subjected to constant pressure and torque while you chew, bite and eat every day. Your mouth is a dynamic environment and all the motion, pressures, torque and changes to which your crowns are exposed can’t help but have an impact on the crowns themselves. There are several circumstances that conspire to loosen or damage a crown over time:
- Physical impact or trauma suffered in a motor vehicle accident, assault or slip and fall
- Damage to or deterioration of the tooth that is under the crown, as a result of tooth decay for example
- Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth as you sleep (sleep bruxism)
- A crown that did not fit properly in the first place or that doesn’t fit properly any longer due to changes in the tooth
- Inadequate cement placed under the crown to hold it in place
- A tooth that wasn’t properly prepared to allow the crown to be cemented effectively
- Eating extremely sticky foods that can pull a loose crown from the surface of your tooth
Sometimes you might not even know that you have a loose dental crown until that crown comes right off your tooth, which is a startling way to find out. What should you do if that happens?
How to respond to losing a crown
If you’re eating and suddenly realize that a crown has come off a tooth, the first thing that you should do is to retrieve that crown from your mouth to avoid swallowing it or choking. Once you get a hold of the crown, rinse it carefully under clean water and set it aside somewhere safe. Your dentist may actually be able to return it to place depending on its condition.
Whether losing a crown is a dental emergency depends a lot on the condition of the tooth it was covering. If you’re very anxious or experiencing pain after losing a crown, by all means contact an emergency dentist near you for advice about how quickly you should get dental attention. Even if it does not feel like an emergency situation, contact your family dentist in Red Deer as soon as convenient.
Depending on the condition of your tooth and the crown itself, your dentist might ask you to place the crown back in place until your appointment. There are a few ways to do that. First, clean the inside of the crown with toothpaste and rinse it carefully. Then use dental adhesive from a drugstore or even sugar-free gum or toothpaste to stick the crown back onto your tooth.
Until your appointment where your dentist will consider whether your crown can be repaired and re-cemented or replaced altogether, be very careful while eating and drinking. Try to avoid eating and drinking directly in the area of the affected tooth until the crown has been permanently re-cemented or replaced with a new crown.
If you find that your tooth is very sensitive in the absence of the crown, you can temporarily get some relief from that tooth sensitivity by putting some clove oil on the tooth with a cotton swab or covering the tooth with some dental cement. Be sure to tell your dentist about the tooth sensitivity. It may indicate that your tooth is damaged and vulnerable to bacteria if left unprotected for too long. Depending on those factors, your dentist may schedule an appointment as quickly as possible.
Your dentist in Red Deer will carefully review the condition of your tooth before making a final decision about whether to re-cement or replace your crown and to protect your exposed tooth from tooth decay in the meantime. If you have any questions about the state of any crowns, don’t hesitate to contact a dentist near you.