A dental crown provides a long-lasting solution to protect a tooth, but it won’t last forever. Your crown may fall off over time. Don’t panic! Here’s what you should do until you see your emergency dentist.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
The average lifespan of a crown is about 10 years, but it isn’t unusual for them to last for much longer. Many factors will affect the life expectancy of your restoration, like:
- Materials: Higher quality materials tend to last for longer than discounted options.
- Location: Back teeth experience more wear and tear. Crowns used on molars may have a slightly shorter life expectancy than those used for front teeth.
- Oral Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene can lead to decay underneath the crown and gum disease can occur.
- Diet: Eating hard and chewy foods can damage a crown over time.
- Oral Habits: Using your teeth as tools, chewing on objects, and crunching ice can damage your restoration.
- Regular Dental Care: Infrequent cleanings and checkups increases the risk of dental crown failure.
Handling a Lost Dental Crown
A crown can lose its bond with your tooth for several reasons. Here’s how to handle a lost dental crown:
- Find Your Crown: Hopefully, you didn’t swallow your restoration. Find your crown and put it in a container with a lid to bring with you to the dentist. It might be salvageable.
- Rinse Your Mouth: Rinse your mouth with salt water to remove debris. It will also kill bacteria and reduce pain and inflammation.
- Contact Your Dentist: Contact your emergency dentist right away for an appointment. Your tooth will be vulnerable without the protection of your crown.
- Manage Any Pain: Take an OTC pain reliever if you have any discomfort.
- Watch What You Eat: Eat soft foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
- Keep Your Mouth Clean: Continue to brush your teeth twice daily and floss every night.
- Use Toothpaste: Use a dab of toothpaste to create a temporary seal to hold your crown in place. Don’t use this method as a long-term solution.
Your emergency dentist will get you into the office quickly to treat your lost crown. They’ll restore your tooth’s protection to keep your mouth healthy.
About Dr. Les Latner
Dr. Latner earned his dental degree at the Washington University School of Dental Medicine and completed a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry. He has regularly continued his training in various specialties, like general and cosmetic dentistry. He is a proud member of many professional organizations, including the Academy of General Dentistry. Request an appointment through his website or call (310) 907-7987.