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Lost crown - intact

lost dental crown

Summary

A dental crown can generally be expected to last about 10-15 years but this is not always the case. Please note all the information on this page can also refer to onlays or inlays.

Reasons a crown may fall out

  • Short tooth supporting the crown
  • Tooth decayed underneath the crown
  • Accident
  • Heavy bite or bruxism (grinding or clenching)
  • Temporary crown
  • Pulled out by denture

A crown falling out is usually not an emergency depending on its position in the mouth it can be embarrassing and patients are understandable keen to fix the situation as soon as possible. If the tooth has a nerve then it can be quite sensitive until the crown is refixed.

In an emergency it may be possible to fix a crown back in temporarily yourself but for a permanent solution you will need to see your dentist.

If the crown is broken or the underlying tooth has broken then see our page on broken crowns

Home care advice

  • Clean and check the crown. If the crown is mostly hollow, you can try to re-cement it at home if you feel confident to do so.
  • Remove any debris from the crown so that it sits properly. You can use something like the tip of a paperclip to scrape the old cement away. 
  • Clean your tooth thoroughly.
  • Check the crown fits without cement. Does the bite feel correct? If the tooth feels too tall, it’s not fitting correctly. Check for debris inside the crown. NEVER force a crown or post onto your tooth; this can cause the root to fracture. If you can’t get the crown to fit, don’t panic. Keep the tooth clean and wait until you can see a dentist. Protect the exposed tooth in the meantime as best you can.
  • Crowns should be replaced using a temporary dental cement from a good pharmacy. DO NOT USE SUPERGLUE or FIXADENT to fit your crown.
  • Once you have practiced placing the crown, dry the tooth and crown, mix the cement as instructed on the packet and fill the crown. Place the crown directly onto the tooth. Bite firmly to press it into place. If it will not go down remove it quickly and reclean the crown and the tooth
  • Remove any extra cement with a toothpick and floss between your teeth to make sure they do not stick together.

It is important to remember that the crown is only temporarily cemented so be careful to avoid the area when eating. It is important to keep the area clean though as the seal of a temporary cement is less good than permanent cement. Brush throughly around the area and use your interdental brushes carefully around it. If you floss the area then pull the floss through sideways rather than pulling it back up.

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Written by Andrew Bain BDS MJDF (RCS Eng)
May 6, 2020