Dental crowns are most commonly used to protect a weak tooth, restore a broken tooth, or hold a dental bridge in place. They can be made of various materials such as metal, ceramic, or porcelain. If properly cared for, a dental crown can have a lifespan of 25-30 years!
The most common reasons that a crown would need to be replaced is if it is chipped, falls out, or if biting down brings tooth sensitivity. There are times that the crown may become loose but not fall out. Continue reading to learn what to do if you are dealing with a loose crown.
Why is my Crown Loose?
Listed below are the most common reasons that a crown will become loose.
The act of repetitive clenching or grinding of the teeth will cause the crown to crack or become loose. This is because of the pressure that is regularly being applied to the tooth.
Tooth decay is due to a lack of proper oral hygiene. When there is tooth decay present, it can change the structure of the tooth resulting in the crown becoming loose.
Any form of trauma can cause a crown to become loose. The most common example is sporting injuries. The crown’s adhesive can become weakened with impact.
Consuming Certain Foods
Although dental adhesive is very effective at keeping crowns in place, certain foods should be avoided. Any type of sticky food such as caramels, taffy, and chewing gum. These foods can loosen or even pull out the crown.
Dental Adhesive Issues
When the dentist places the temporary crown they will use temporary dental cement. This cement is not meant to last forever. If you still have a temporary crown, it may become loose due to the temporary cement.
Seldomly, there can be an issue with the permanent cement that dentists use when placing the permanent crown. If the crown becomes lose it is usually due to one of the causes listed above.
Treatment of a Loose Crown
You’ve noticed that your permanent dental crown is loose; what should you do now? The first step is to make an appointment with your dentist. At your dental appointment, they will be able to confirm that the tooth and crown are still in good shape. If there is decay present, they will need to discuss treatment options.
In the meantime, you need to see how loose the crown is. Pinch the crown and gently attempt to remove it on your own. It is important to do this because you need to avoid ingesting the crown at all costs. If it wiggles free easily, make sure to put it in a safe place until your dental appointment.
If it does come out, brush your natural tooth gently with a toothbrush to remove any debris or cement. It is recommended to consume food and drinks that are sugar-free since the natural tooth is exposed and is more susceptible to decay.
If it does not wiggle free easily – leave it alone! During meals make sure you eat with the opposite side of your mouth. Any type of continual disturbance can damage the inside of the crown. If this happens a new crown will need to be molded.
If the crown has come out and you are experiencing sensitivity there is the option of using an over-the-counter dental adhesive that you can find at most pharmacies and grocery stores. This is an extremely temporary solution until you can meet with your dentist for further assistance.
Preventing Crown Issues
The best way to prevent dental crown issues is to be proactive in oral hygiene. It is imperative to brush twice a day, floss after each meal, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent tooth decay.
The mouth is full of bacteria that can cause decay, gingivitis, and cavities. Practicing good oral hygiene ensures that bacteria and plaque can not build up around the crown causing further issues.
If you have dental crowns it is even more important to maintain regular dental care visits. Routine visits, such as regular cleanings, can prevent future dental emergencies. During routine cleanings, the hygienist will be able to assess your gum line and ensure there are no teeth that need immediate attention.
Dental Crowns and the East Valley Dental Professionals
At East Valley Dental Professionals, we are dedicated to working with families and developing long-term relationships with our patients. If you are experiencing issues with a dental crown we offer free second opinions with no strings attached. Schedule an appointment with us to begin improving your dental health today!