During these times of national emergency, most healthcare services are postponed. However, this does not mean that dental emergencies don´t happen. One of the most common situations is that a dental crown falls off. This can be much of a surprise, as it can happen when it is least expected, especially when it is a permanent crown. If you had a temporary crown then it is relatively normal for the cement to wash out within a few weeks of placement. However, it can be hard to know what to do during these times. Here is all you need to know.
Sometimes, dentists use temporary cement in order to make it easy to remove. This is done with temporary crowns. Saliva can wash away this cement in one or two weeks.
Other times, permanent cement can become contaminated at the time of placement. Dentists follow a rigorous protocol for final cementation of permanent dental crowns that includes sanding, washing with acids, and curating. They must also make sure the tooth surface is completely clean and dry. Excessive bleeding or salivating can contaminate the cement, and it will eventually fail.
There are other occasions when biting forces can wear away the cement and loosen the crown. This happens with patients who grind and do not wear a mouthguard for protection or who practice contact sports and do not wear a sports guard.
Still other times, a permanent crown can fall off when the entire tooth structure fractures. This is common with weakened structures like teeth with old root canal treatments or very large cavities. When this happens, you will see on the inside of the crown the part of the tooth that is still cemented to the crown.
If you are able to go to the same dentist who placed it, do so. Dentists generally have a warranty in these cases and do not charge for re-cementation. It is very important to bring the dental crown with you!
If the dentist who prepped and cemented the crown is not available, go to another local dentist. This is a quick and easy appointment if your natural tooth is in good condition. He might charge you a fee to cover the cost of materials, but it should not come close to the cost of a new dental crown. In this case, take the crown with you too.
If your tooth broke, the dentist will have to proceed to make a new one based on the remaining structure. He will evaluate if this is possible because some fractures can render the tooth unsalvageable. Inquire with your dentist to see if he offers a warranty over the crown.
If you cannot go to a dentist immediately, you can try getting denture adhesive and carefully try to cement the dental crown. This will give you some days to go back to the dentist. Do not try to do this if you see the remaining tooth structure inside the crown. Also, do not try to use any other type of glue to make the crown hold. These can contain toxic components and be hazardous to your general health. If everything fails go around without the dental crown, but avoid chewing on that side else you might run the risk of fracturing the remaining structure. In any case, try to get professional attention as soon as possible.
Dental crowns that have fallen off can be a nuisance. At the Costa Rica Dental Team we use the best materials and protocols in our procedures. However, if the unforeseeable happens, we offer warranty for crown re-cementation and a 10-year replacement warranty in case of dental crown fracture or prosthetic failure. We will be happy until you are happy. Contact us now for more details.