This is a step by step guide on what you should do if your permanent or temporary crown fell out. We will guide you through everything that you need to know about this unexpected dental condition and how to minimize the damage.
Step 1: Recover fallen off crown
If your crown falls off while you’re eating or while you’re doing something else for that matter, look for it and retrieve it. Once you have it in your hands, rinse it off with cool water and store it in a secure place.
To reiterate, what you should do is the same regardless of if the tooth cap is permanent or temporary. Secure it and keep it safe.
Do you know how many times we’ve had patients throw away their permanent crown? We get a couple of these cases every year. If you threw it away we can’t glue it back on for you.
Do you remember how much a dental crown costs? You should be prepared to pay for a brand new one. Perhaps that’ll be a motivator for you to keep it safe.
Also, not to make matters worse but if your insurance covered a part of it, you should be aware that there is a frequency limitation. If you’ve had that cap done less than 5 years ago on the same insurance, they will deny you coverage.
Step 2: Inspect the tooth cap
Take a close look at the dislodged crown to assess the condition that it is in. Depending on the shape that it is in, you may be able to temporarily reglue it at home or it may be better to wait for your dentist.
Yes, the dental crown could’ve fallen off in different ways and each condition will look different. Below are the various ways that dislodged crowns can look like.
Only the crown fell off
This condition is when a permanent crown falls off cleanly. There may be some residual cement inside of the crown but otherwise, there isn’t anything attached to it.
What else you may notice:
Crown fell off with post attached
This condition is characterized by a screw or post that is attached to the inside of the crown. As you guessed, this is more complicated than if nothing was inside of the cap.
Crown fell off with tooth attached
The worst case scenario is if the crown falls off with your tooth attached to it. This could be your entire tooth in there or it could be a piece of your tooth stuck inside of it. Either way, this is a catastrophic situation.
Temporary crown fell off
A temporary crown falling off is actually much more common than a permanent one coming off. The reason is because they’re often glued in with temporary glue so it isn’t as strong nor retentive.
Your dentist does it this way because they still need to remove it to put on the permanent one once it is ready. If they used permanent cement on the temp, they wouldn’t be able to get it off.
Dental implant crown fell off
Implant crowns can get loose and fall off as well. There are two different types of caps for implants, cement retained and screw retained crowns.
Step 3: Reglue it
Whether you can temporarily reglue your crown at home would depend on its condition and the condition of your tooth. The conditions which you can attempt to recement it is if only the tooth cap fell off (temporary and permanent).
We recommend against trying to put it back on for all of the other conditions.
Conditions you can reglue:
- Permanent crown.
- Temporary crown.
Conditions you shouldn’t reglue:
- Crown with post or screw attached.
- Crown with entire tooth inside of it.
- Crown with piece of tooth stuck to it.
- Implant crown.
The next step is to see a dentist if you don’t want to or can’t recement it.
How to reglue crown at home
To temporarily reglue the crown back on, all you need is a Lost filling and loose crown repair kit which you can find at any pharmacy.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Try the crown back in your mouth for the correct orientation.
- Rinse the crown with cool water and dry it.
- Place a THIN layer of temporary glue inside of the cap.
- Place the crown over your tooth and push it in with your finger.
- Bite your teeth together a couple of times to make sure it is fully seated.
Step 4: See a dentist
You need to see a dentist even if you glued the cap on at home and especially so if you didn’t. The reason is because temporary glue doesn’t last as long as the permanent cement. You will want your dentist to replace the temporary cement with a permanent one.
Please remember to bring your crown with you to your appointment!
Nonetheless, the more complex conditions with the fallen off crown will require more complicated treatment. Below is a table showing all of the potential treatments.
|Permanent crown||Recement permanently|
|Temporary crown||Recement temporarily|
|Crown with post||Crown lengthening, new post & crown|
|Crown with tooth||Extraction & implant or bridge|
|Implant crown||Recement or rescrew|
You won’t know for sure what you’ll be needing until you see your dentist. You’ll get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan once you’re there.
If your crown falls off, you should recover it and keep it in a safe place. You may opt to glue it on with temporary glue if the tooth feels sensitive. However, if you aren’t able to or don’t want to, you can simply wait to see your dentist.
Just don’t forget to bring your fallen off crown with you to your appointment, otherwise your dentist can’t do anything for you. You would need to go back home to get it and make another appointment!