A crown is a common dental restoration used to preserve the teeth’s functionality, shape and size. Crowns protect teeth that are highly prone to fractures especially after root canal treatments; they cover dental implants and close gaps between cracked and worn teeth.
What happens if your crown breaks or falls out? Find out below.
Are there any quick fix for the patients until they see a dentist?
The best thing you can do is apply a little clove oil with a cotton swab or dental cement directly to the tooth surface if it feels sensitive. This might help a bit in terms of the sensitivity and pain relief. If the patient has the crown, it might be possible to slip it back over the tooth. Make sure that the inside of the crown is clean and then you can coat it with a tooth cement or dental adhesive paste which are both available in the dental section of the pharmacies. This is a temporary solution until the patient can visit their dentist.
How do dentists deal with broken crowns?
A lost or fallen out crown is rarely an emergency. However, sometimes it can be quite painful as the exposed tooth tissue might be sensitive if the tooth is vital (has a living pulp). It can cause a lot of discomfort psychologically or aesthetically if it is located within the anterior area. Depending on the case, it should be fixed as soon as possible.
What we normally do is ask the patient if they still have the crown. If so, after cleaning and thoroughly examining both the remaining tooth structure and the crown, we make sure that the core is not defective or carious. If clinical exam and X-rays prove that the crown fits and adapt well with the tooth structure, we might consider making the crown ready for re-cementation.
However, this is not always feasible. When the crown is lost or is defective, we advise to fit a temporary crown and we attempt to make a new crown after doing the necessary preparation. Unfortunately, in some cases, the tooth might not be restorable and we might consider other options such as extraction and implant replacement.
The immediate precautionary post-surgery steps involve taking it easy for the first day, especially for some types of cements. It is best to stay away from eating hard or sticky food to allow the cement the adequate time to set.
If you have numbed up during previous dental treatments you need to wait till the normal sensation returns before eating anything. Otherwise, there is the risk of biting your cheek or your lip. Hopefully, the next day you can test the bite of your crown to make sure it feels right with every type of jaw movement.
If you are not comfortable, please let your dentist know about it, so that they can adjust and correct it immediately. All of the above steps need to be taken into consideration when looking after your new crowns.