For many people with a damaged tooth, a dental crown is one solution that is often recommended by their dentists. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap or cover that is placed over the damaged tooth for the purpose of restoring its size and shape, reinforcing its strength, and improving its alignment or appearance. Crowns are permanently cemented into place so that the tooth can look and function just like a normal, healthy tooth.

But while crowns are designed to be a permanent solution, there are instances wherein a person finds that the crown has become detached from its place in the mouth. It may be caused by a strong impact or by biting too hard on food.

If this happens to you, it's best not to panic — try to approach the situation with a calm and level head. Here's what to do when you lose a crown or filling:

Take the crown out of your mouth.

The goal is to avoid swallowing or inhaling the crown, so as soon as you feel or see that the crown has come loose, remove it from your mouth right away.

Get in touch with your Dublin Dentist.

It’s important to let the dentist know about what happened and to provide as many details as you can. An appointment can then be arranged.

Observe the detached crown.

There are a couple of things that you might see when you study the crown that fell out of your mouth:

  • There is a portion of your fractured tooth inside the crown. In this case, you need to see your dentist immediately before any other action can be taken.
  • The crown is hollow, or there appears to be a small metal rod inside it. If you see these, then that means that you can temporarily re-attach the crown to your tooth before seeing your dentist (take note that you will still need to talk to your dentist first to confirm if this temporary method would be suitable for your specific case).

If you have been cleared for temporary reattachment, here's what you need to do:

  • Use a toothbrush to gently clean the tooth that the crown was attached to, as well as the crown itself. Dry off both as best as you can.
  • Apply some temporary crown cement (which can be purchased at most pharmacies) to the crown and reattach it to your tooth.
  • Avoid eating hard or sticky foods that could cause the crown to dislodge — the temporary cement should not be expected to be as strong as the cement that your dentist uses, so take care in using the affected tooth and crown.

Visit your Dublin Dentist for a permanent reattachment

Your tooth became exposed to bacteria in your mouth because of the lost crown, and there are sure to be bacteria caught between your tooth and the crown when you temporarily cemented them together. The dentist can remove the crown and thoroughly disinfect it and the tooth first. Afterwards, the crown will once again be permanently cemented onto your tooth.