April 2, 2022

What Should I Do If I Lose a Dental Crown?

Filed under: Uncategorized — charleswalker @ 9:42 pm

It’s home movie night, and you’re sitting on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn in your lap. As you’re eating, you hear a pop and feel something dislodge within your mouth. Panic starts to set in, and you spit out what looks like a tooth. It’s small, jagged, and a shade of off-white—it’s not a popcorn kernel, but one of your dental crowns! You set down the bowl of popcorn and go to store the crown in your bathroom cabinet for later; your dentist will know exactly what to do with it.

What Causes a Dental Crown to Fall Out?

Even though dental crowns are quite durable and meant to last for years, they are still susceptible to accidents and many different things can cause one to become detached. Certain foods that are particularly hard, chewy, or difficult to eat can be problematic, as can extremely hot or cold foods and beverages. Popcorn is one of the main offenders, but hard candies like lollipops and jawbreakers, soft candies like taffy, or even things like nuts, jerky, and nutrition bars all pose a threat.

Trauma or impact is also cause for concern; participating in physical contact sports and activities, or receiving an injury to the face, can greatly increase the likelihood of losing a dental crown. Not to mention simple wear and tear over time can gradually weaken all your crowns.

What Do I Do If I Lose a Dental Crown?

If one of your dental crowns falls out, you need to call your dentist immediately—they’ll help you schedule an appointment, ideally within the next week. If possible, retrieve the crown to bring to your dentist. They will determine whether it needs to be reapplied or replaced entirely. In some cases, your dentist might instruct you to attempt reattaching the crown yourself with a dental adhesive.

Depending on the severity of the situation, you might experience pain or discomfort after losing a dental crown. If the underlying tooth has a jagged or sharp edge, or if the crown presents a choking hazard, you will want to schedule an emergency appointment. Avoid further trauma, as well as problematic foods, and do your best to keep the exposed tooth clean. The last thing you want to happen is for a more severe problem to develop!

Although losing a dental crown can sometimes come as a surprise, in most cases, it’s usually remedied easily by a trip to your dentist. You don’t have to completely give up popcorn on movie night, but a little extra caution can go a long way.

About the Author

Dr. Charles Walker, DDS graduated from the University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry in 1987 and has practiced in Salt Lake City ever since. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Utah Dental Association, and has fellowship status in the American Dental Implant Association. Dr. Walker is committed to offering personalized, innovative care for all his patients. If you have any questions about the article, or dental crowns, Dr. Walker can be reached at his website or (801) 467-6886.

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