Although losing a crown or filling can be understandably upsetting, you should know that the occurrence is not altogether uncommon, and you needn’t panic when it happens. Crowns may fall out due to wear and tear, or because of further tooth decay. They may be lost when you suffer trauma from sports or a car accident, when you clench or grind teeth, or when you chew something hard.
Knowing it can happen should give you the wherewithal to keep calm when you lose a crown or filling, but what should you do after the fact? Is this an emergency situation that requires immediate care or can it wait a few days? What can you do in the meantime to prevent further damage? Here’s what you need to know.
If your filling or crown pops off or breaks, you’re probably going to know because there will be a hard object in your mouth. Ideally, you should spit it out rather than biting or swallowing it. Unfortunately, you might bust a crown while chewing food and accidentally mash it up, or you may swallow it. This isn’t the end of the world, and it should pass without harm.
However, it’s always best to try to preserve it if possible. In some cases, you may actually be able to pop the original back in, saving you the time and expense of creating a new one, but you first have to fish it out and put it somewhere safe.
Protect Your Tooth
Losing a filling or crown can be painful, and in the aftermath, you may experience some discomfort when you eat, drink, or even feel cold air flowing over the exposed tooth. What can you do to eliminate pain and keep your tooth safe from harm?
If your crown is intact, it’s possible you could affix it back in place with a bit of dental cement, available at most drugstores. After cleaning your tooth and the crown, simply stick it back in place temporarily. If a crown or filling is broken, you could still coat your tooth with dental cement (after cleaning) or apply dental wax for a temporary fix. These options should help to protect your tooth from further harm until you can see your dentist.
Call Your Dentist
Even though a lost filling or crown is not an emergency, your dentist will want to see you as soon as possible to repair or replace your dental work. Whether you’re able to reinstall your existing crown or you need a new crown or filling, it’s important not to wait if you want to avoid complications and preserve your oral health.