crown fell out what do i do next - savina dental clinics malta and gozo

Having a loose or fallen crown can be worrying especially if the affected tooth is sore or sensitive to hot foods and drinks. Unfortunately, most people don’t know what needs to be done if their dental crown falls off. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to do in the event your crown falls out, including measures you can take to prevent it from happening.

What to do if your crown fell out

Most dental crowns tend to fall off while flossing, brushing or eating. If your crown falls out, you must take precautionary measures to protect the tooth. Otherwise, it risks decaying further, causing you numerous problems with your teeth and gums. Here is what to do.

Find the crown

The moment you realise that your crown is missing, the first thing you should do is to find it. If, however, you’ve swallowed it, it should pass uneventfully and without causing any complications. But, you will need to get a new one fitted.

Rinse it off

If you find the crown, gently clean it with a toothbrush as you assess possible damages. Your dentist can reattach the crown if there is no other problem with the crown other than the cement seal. If the crown fell off because the underlying tooth broke, it may be very difficult or impossible to have it re-cemented.  Try to keep the area as clean as possible.

Contact your dentist

It is important that you see your dentist in a reasonably short time to allow them to refit the crown before the original tooth becomes further decayed or damaged. If your dentist cannot see you immediately or you cannot attend a dental crown treatment session for a few days, there are a few protective measures you can take as you wait to see them.

Protect the crown until your appointment

If you have a fallen crown, it is good practice to temporarily place it back on the exposed tooth using temporary dental cement that is available at some chemists, or even using denture adhesive. Before placing the crown back,

  • Gently clean the exposed tooth with toothpaste as it may be tender and prone to damage in its weakened state
  • Also, clean the crown inside and out, making sure to treat it gently as well. Gently remove any debris and old cement from the inside of the crown if you can but do not persist if it proves difficult as most often your dentist has to clean out the old cement residue
  • Take some time to inspect the crown to determine the right way to attach it to your tooth before applying the cream. Note that putting it incorrectly can damage the crown, the tooth and the neighbouring teeth
  • Use a tiny dab of the temporary crown cement or adhesive to create a light suction. Do not use super glue or any other product that is not specifically designed for this procedure as it may be harmful and toxic
  • Reattach the crown. After the temporary replacement of a crown, avoid chewing on the affected side or eating any hard or chewy foods

If you can’t find the crown, do everything you can to get it replaced in the shortest time possible. When a tooth loses it is more fragile and prone to damage. Without the crown, the deeper parts of the tooth become exposed to debris and bacteria, which can cause infection and decay. If the exposed tooth is sore or sensitive, apply an over the counter dental pain reliever.

Why do dental crowns fall off?

Some of the main reasons why dental crowns become loose or fall off include:

Improper construction or fit

When a dental crown is poorly constructed or has an ill fit, with time, the pressure that comes from chewing and biting might loosen it, causing it to fall off. The retention of a dental crown also depends largely on the quality and quantity of tooth structure underneath the crown. When put on short or worn teeth, the enamel may not be sufficient enough to provide durable consistency.

Heavy tooth grinding and clenching

If you grind and clench your teeth while sleeping, you put lots of pressure on your molars and premolars. Over time, this causes the cement holding your crown in position or even the crown itself to break.

Recurrence of tooth decay

Poor oral and dental care leads to the development of cavities under the crown.

Deterioration of the dental cement

Dental cement is designed to be strong and durable. However, it does not last forever. Even with proper care, your teeth are likely to deteriorate over time, causing your crown to loosen or fall out.

Trauma

Over-enthusiastic flossing, brushing or an injury can cause the crown to fall off.

To book your dental crown consultation, please use our online appointment form or contact us directly on (+356) 2125 7253 (Skyparks Business Centre, Malta International Airport), or (+356) 2155 7323 (Dingli Street, Victoria, Gozo). For international patients, it is recommended to request a free e-consultation where we can discuss your individual case and treatment options.

Can you prevent a crown from falling out?

While there isn’t much you can do if your crown doesn’t fit properly on your tooth or if the cement is weak, there are a few things you can do to take good care of your crown to reduce the chances of it loosening or falling off.

  • Floss regularly
  • Do not chew on ice
  • Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods: The National Institutes of Health recommend that people with dental crowns avoid or practice care when eating foods that are hard, sticky or require a lot of chewing such as  chewing gum or toffee
  • If you clench your teeth while sleeping, we highly recommend wearing a mouth guard to protect the crown and other teeth
  • Consider investing in an interdental brush as it makes sure that you reach between your crown and the surrounding teeth

If your crown falls off, do not panic as it is a common occurrence. The most important thing you should do is to contact your dentist to schedule an appointment to have the crown refitted or replaced in the shortest time possible. Meanwhile, hold onto the crown and go easy on your mouth when eating, brushing and flossing.

Have You Tried Our Free e-Consultation Service?

If you are worried about a dental related issue, interested in travelling to Malta for a dental holiday or have questions about any of the treatments we offer, please contact us using our new free e-Consultation service. One of our highly qualified team will respond to your query as soon as possible. Our e-Consultation service is live 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday.

If you would like to schedule an in-person consultation at Savina Dental, please book your appointment using this form.

Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.

Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.