Dental crowns are great restorations since they help you retain a portion of your natural enamel and protect it from further decay. While these restorations are sturdy, they can sometimes pop off or come loose. Here are some tips to prevent your dental crowns from coming loose and information so you know how to proceed if a crown does come off.
Dealing with Temporary Crowns
Dentists use an adhesive for temporary crowns that aren't as strong as permanent crowns. So, it can be easier to pop off a temporary crown than a permanent one. If you can, try to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth that has the temporary crown. When you floss, make sure you pull the floss completely through your teeth; don't pop the floss in and out since this can push the temporary crown off.
If your temporary crown does happen to fall off, it's important to make an appointment as soon as possible to have it replaced. The temporary crown holds your teeth in the correct position so that the permanent crown fits. If you don't replace the temporary crown as soon as you can, then your teeth can actually shift, and then the permanent crown may not fit! Contact an emergency dentist to get your temporary replaced. Your dentist can make a new temporary with acrylic resin, but it's better to save your old temporary crown (if it's still in one piece), since your doctor can re-cement it fairly quickly.
Dealing with Permanent Crowns
Permanent crowns usually pop off enamel because of nighttime grinding, trauma, recurrent decay from poor oral hygiene, etc. So if you know that you grind your teeth, you may want to wear a mouthguard at night so that you can extend the lifespan of your crowns. If you don't take good care of your teeth, you may want to double-down on proper brushing and flossing so that recurrent decay doesn't seep underneath a crown and destroy the remaining enamel.
If a permanent crown does pop off, you can go to a pharmacy or grocery store and buy loose-cap repair product. These over-the-counter temporary cements can hold the permanent crown in place until you get into your dentist. You just place the cement over the site, and slowly bite down on the crown so that the pressure holds the restoration in place. Like with temporary crowns, you should avoid eating on the side of your mouth with the permanent crown so that it doesn't fall back out.
Once you get into your dentist, he or she will help you determine the best course of action. If your enamel is still healthy, he or she may be able to re-cement the permanent crown. If the crown is damaged, then a new one may need to be fabricated. If your enamel has decayed, your dentist may need to remove the decay and take a new impression for a new crown, or he or she may decide to extract the tooth altogether.