Oops! Temporary Crown Fell Off? What to Do Next
*The Mystery Behind Temporary Crowns
Have you had a dental procedure recently? If yes, then you might have a temporary crown in place whilst you wait for the final crown to be made. A temporary crown is a cap placed over your tooth to protect it from sensitivity, decay, or further damage before you get your permanent crown.
While temporary crowns are designed to last for a short period, sometimes they may fall off.
Why Do Temporary Crowns Fall Off?
There are many reasons for temporary crowns falling off. Sometimes, it’s because they were simply not fitted correctly, other times it’s because of actions you take. Though uncommon, here are some significant reasons why a temporary crown may fall off.
- Weak Cement: Temporary crowns are installed using temporary cement, which is intended to be weaker than the permanent cement used for your long term crown. This weak cement allows the temporary crown to be easily removed when it’s time for the final crown to be placed. If you happen to have a bite that’s too strong for the cement, the temporary crown can become dislodged.
- Chewing Hard or Sticky Foods: It’s important to avoid eating hard or sticky foods whilst your temporary crown is in place. These foods can cause the crown to crack or fall off prematurely.
- Grinding Teeth: Grinding your teeth puts undue stress on your temporary crown making it more prone to falling off.
Steps to Take When a Temporary Crown Falls off
Even the most carefully fitted temporary crown can fall off. Knowing what to do when it happens can prevent further damage and help get you on the path to a speedy repair process.
Step 1 - Stay Calm: The first thing you need to do is remain calm. Losing a temporary crown may seem like a major dental emergency, but it’s not. Call your dentist to arrange an appointment that works best for you.
Step 2 - Remove the Crown: If possible, carefully remove and store the crown in a safe place. Make sure to check the inside of the crown for any remaining pieces of the tooth, as this will help your dentist during the repair process.
Step 3 - Make a Temporary Repair: If the tooth is left exposed, it can be extremely uncomfortable and sensitive. A quick fix is to apply petroleum jelly over the exposed area to reduce the pain. You can also use dental cement, or OTC temporary dental glue, to help affix the crown back into place, helping to protect your exposed tooth while you wait to see your Dentist.
Step 4 - Book an Appointment: As soon as the crown falls off, you should make an appointment with your dentist to have it assessed and replaced as soon as possible. Try to schedule the appointment within the first day of the crown falling off, to reduce any discomfort during the interim period.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
While it is difficult to control everything about your dental health, there are some things that you can do to prevent your temporary crown from falling off in the first place. These include:
- Avoid Hard, Chewy, and Sticky Foods: Steer clear of hard, chewy, sticky foods, as mentioned earlier in the article, can loosen the crown.
- Be Mindful of How You Chew: Try not to bite hard foods or chew with the crown while you have it in place. Instead, chew on the opposite side of your mouth or eat softer foods.
- Avoid Grinding Your Teeth: If you grind your teeth regularly, talk to your dentist about treatments such as a mouthguard or techniques to adjust your biting patterns.
If you have a temporary crown, it’s important to know what can cause it to fall off and what to do when it does. Remember, you must seek professional help as soon as possible to prevent further complications.
Although a temporary crown falling off can be an inconvenience, it’s nothing to panic about. By taking the right steps, you can minimize any discomfort and get back to your daily activities in no time.