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What to Do if You Lose a Crown

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Four old dental crowns laying on a black surface


Munching down a bit too hard on your burger? Forgetting to brush on one side? Standing too close behind your friend while they’re practicing their swing? Playing tag with the kids? Swimming into the side of the pool? Trust us; when it comes to lost crowns, we’ve heard it all! 

The life span of your crown depends a lot on wear, tear, and individual circumstances. Dental crowns should have a life expectancy of 5 to 15 years, but occasionally the unexpected can happen in unexpected places. 

Pause & Assess 

Sometimes the moment between losing the crown and the realization of what happened can feel like an eternity. It’s easy to panic and become anxious in those first few minutes. However, the most important thing you can do at that moment is pause and assess the situation. 

Ask yourself: 

  • What happened? Try and remember all the details so you can inform your dentist of the circumstances surrounding the loss of your crown. 
  • Where is my crown? Calmly search the area for your crown. Your dentist will need to inspect it to determine if the crown can be reused, or if it must be replaced. 
  • Is this an emergency? Severe pain is a clear indicator of a dental emergency, but you will also want emergency care if any sharp edges can cause injury to the mouth. It also may be an esthetic emergency if you have lost your front crown, luckily, Southgate Dental Centre is available with extended hours to help you as soon as possible.
  • Did I swallow my crown? If you swallowed your crown or think you swallowed your crown, call a doctor right away. A chest x-ray may be required to determine that your crown was swallowed, rather than inhaled and entering your lungs. This can be a very serious situation and should be dealt with immediately. 

Why Did My Crown Fall Out? 

Most patients don’t realize a crown is loose until it actually falls out! This situation is a lot more common than you’d expect, and you are not alone. 

Crowns can fall out for a variety of reasons, including: 

  • Decay in the remaining parts of the tooth under and surrounding your crown. 
  • Weakened cement holding the crown in place. 
  • Sticky foods that pull the crown out of place 
  • Teeth Grinding 

What Should I Do Now? 

You didn’t panic, and that’s a great first step! Below you’ll find the next few steps to ensure the quickest, safest and healthiest crown repair or replacement. 

Find & Keep Your Crown 

There is a chance that your dentist can clean and re-insert the same crown back in your mouth. Put it in a safe place where you’ll remember where it is, and where it can’t be damaged any further. 

Woman on the phone with her dentist because she lost a dental crown

Call Your Dentist 

At Southgate Dental Centre, we offer extended hours for our patients, emergency dental care, and same-day CEREC® Non-Metal Crowns

It’s essential to contact your dentist as soon as possible and make an appointment to have your crown refitted or replaced; a lost crown can make life uncomfortable fairly quickly, even if it’s not considered a dental emergency. 

Our team may have some special instructions for you or even suggest purchasing some dental cement at a pharmacy to glue your crown back into place temporarily.

Eat Carefully 

You’ll want to avoid foods that are hard or sticky prior to your appointment. Munching on softer, safer foods will help minimize any further damage to your tooth. You may also want to consider chewing on the other side of your mouth.  

Most pharmacies stock dental wax, which can help protect your tooth and mouth while you’re eating. If you have used dental cement to glue your crown back in place temporarily, chew mindfully to avoid pulling out the crown again! 

Treat The Pain 

You may experience some pain after the loss of a crown. You can use ibuprofen or clove oil to help ease the sting. Remember that sharp or agonizing pain is considered a dental emergency. If your pain is not manageable, you need to seek emergency dental care

Tips & Tricks 

If you’ve lost a crown, here’s a short list of tips and tricks to help you cope until your dentist appointment: 

  • Find your crown: Your dentist may be able to re-use it if it isn’t too damaged. Make sure to keep it clean and safe until your appointment. 
  • Consult with your dentist before using temporary dental cement: You may have a unique circumstance where re-attaching the crown could be harmful. 
  • Back away from the toffee: You need to protect the remaining parts of your tooth that were under the crown, so steer clear of chewy or crunchy foods until your appointment. 
  • Don’t panic: We can fix this! No matter the reason for your lost crown (tooth decay, injury, age, or damage), you are in great hands at Southgate Dental Centre. Give us a call; we’re here to help. 

Care You Can Trust 

In the moment, losing a crown can feel like a scary situation. However, it’s important to remember that this is a common occurrence that our dentists handle every day. Contact our team for an appointment if you’ve lost a crown, or feel like it’s coming loose. We can help you determine your next steps. 

Written by Dr. Kevin Hamm

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