No one expects a dental emergency on vacation, but it does happen. If you find yourself in this situation where your dental crown falls off, don’t panic. There are important steps to follow to protect your tooth before having the crown repaired.
Reasons Why a Crown Might Fall Off
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your dental crown may become loose or even fall off while you’re on vacation. One of the most common reasons for a crown to fall off is due to bacteria. If bacteria get into the space where your crown meets the tooth along your gumlines, it can create new areas of decay under the crown and cause it to become dislodged.
Other possible causes include grinding your teeth while sleeping, trauma to your mouth, and eating sticky foods. Even though the crown is permanently cemented onto your tooth, extremely sticky textures like taffy or caramel could compromise the crown or other dental work.
Temporary crowns, like the ones you wear while a permanent crown is being made, come off more easily. A temporary crown can easily fall off a tooth if you’re flossing too aggressively or eat anything sticky.
It’s also important to practice good dental hygiene to prevent a permanent crown from falling off in the first place. Many people assume that flossing will pull their crown off, but it doesn’t. It actually protects the seal around their crown to keep it stable longer. Additionally, if you’re grinding your teeth while sleeping, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your crown.
By understanding the reasons why a dental crown might come loose or fall off, you can take steps to prevent it from happening and know what to do if it does occur. With good oral hygiene, most crowns should last for several years.
What to Do if Your Crown Falls Off
If your crown does come off, the first step should be to call our Salem dentist. We can provide you with tips on how to care for the area until you’re able to see us after you return from vacation. If necessary, we may be able to refer you to an emergency dental office in your area. Otherwise, it’s best to store your tooth in a zip-top baggie and bring it to our office once you get back into town.
Make sure that you do not chew or bite down on the side of your mouth where the crown fell off. Since the underlying tooth is already structurally compromised, using it to chew could cause the tooth to crack apart. If that happens, the crown cannot be reattached and you may need a root canal. Instead, use the other side of your mouth to chew and eat softer textures of food.
In some cases, the crown can be saved and re-attached with a temporary cement from the drugstore. However, this should only be done as a last resort, as the seal won’t be as strong and you will need to visit a dentist once you return home. This option is usually only recommended if you’re in pain or your tooth is visible whenever you’re smiling.
Treatment for a Missing Crown
If your dental crown falls off on vacation, don’t panic! Depending on the situation, our dentists may be able to reattach it or create a new crown altogether.
Reattaching a dental crown may be possible if the crown is still intact and the underlying tooth is undamaged. If the old crown can be replaced within a few days of it falling off, this is usually the best option. Our experienced dentists will check to make sure the crown fits properly and securely over the tooth before reattaching it.
If the dental crown cannot be reattached, our dentists may have to create a new one. This typically requires more time and expense, but it is necessary to ensure that the affected teeth are protected and healthy. Our dentists can craft a custom-made crown that fits perfectly over the tooth to ensure the best long-term result.
Call Our Salem Dentist
At Paradise Dental Associates in Salem, MA, we understand that dental crown emergencies can be stressful. Rest assured that our experienced and professional dentists are prepared to handle any dental crown issues you may have on vacation, so you can enjoy your getaway worry-free!
Whether you’re an existing patient or visiting Salem on vacation, contact our office today to reserve an appointment with one of our experienced providers.