While they might feel similar to a normal tooth on the outside, crowns are merely caps that go over your teeth. There is always the potential for them to come loose, whether it’s because of receding gums or the deterioration of the dental cement holding it in place. Dental crowns are not meant to last forever, but they are easy to replace.
Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc in Washington, DC, provide custom crown creation and placement, as well as emergency dental services if a crown unexpectedly comes loose.
Caring for a loose crown
There are many reasons your dental crown might have come loose. They aren’t designed to be permanent, and most people need their crown replaced at least once in their lifetime. A well-designed and properly placed crown typically lasts anywhere from five to 10 years.
With good oral hygiene, these restorations can last even longer. Likewise, poor dental health, degraded cement, and improper fitting can cause them to degrade much earlier. Another risk factor for crown loss is bruxism, or teeth grinding. Spending all night clenching your teeth damages the crown and makes it shift around.
If your crown is loose on top of the tooth and settles back in when you clench your teeth, you’ve definitely got a problem. Even if your tooth is not exposed yet, bacteria can still find its way inside and begin breaking down the enamel underneath.
While you can purchase certain dental kits yourself and try to readhere your crown, this is not recommended as a long-term solution. Once a crown has fallen out, you will need a new one refitted.
However, you can buy time by thoroughly disinfecting a completely detached crown, applying dental cement to the inside, and biting down on a towel or gauze until it feels sturdy. This can help protect your tooth until you can consult a dentist.
How a dentist can help
While some people might not think of a loose crown as a dental emergency, it definitely should be considered one. A loose crown not only makes it painful and uncomfortable to chew on the affected side, but there’s also the concern of bacteria getting inside the crown and infecting your tooth.
This is why it’s important to seek out help from a dentist as soon as you can. We’ll be able to safely remove the damaged crown, see if it is salvageable, and replace it if possible. If not, we’ll clean the tooth beneath and take a mold of it. These imprints will be taken and sent off to manufacture a new custom crown.
Dr. Culotta-Norton or Dr. Grinc will place a temporary crown so you can eat comfortably in the meantime. Once it’s ready, you can come in and have your new crown professionally fitted.
Is your crown coming loose? Don’t delay. To schedule a consultation, call 202-833-1111 or visit the contact page for more options.