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Whether you have a temporary or permanent crown you should be aware that it may eventually come off. For some it may be painful, but when most people have a crown fall off it is simply more of an inconvenience.  These types of emergencies are not uncommon, and in many cases the crown can be put back on, however, there are times when a crown may need to be completely replaced after it falls off.

A special dental adhesive that bonds to the inside of crowns and natural tooth structure is used to secure crowns in place.  Depending on the type of crown a dentist may use different types of cement. Dentists also shape the natural structure of a tooth so a crown can stay on, giving it retention. The retentive shape of the tooth and the bond of adhesive is what keeps dental crowns on your teeth.

If your crown has fallen off it could be due to one of several causes.

Hard food such as bones, hard candies and ice can fracture or break crowns. In general, these foods should be avoided because they aren’t good for your oral health. Chewing on nails or pens, using your teeth to open packages and other habits such as grinding and clenching can also crack porcelain and stress adhesive bond causing crowns to fall out.

Chewy and sticky food commonly causes dental crowns to come off. Sticky candies can be especially hazardous to crowns because they can slowly break the adhesive’s seal and pull the restoration off the tooth. If the crown is undamaged a dentist will be able to recement it.

If you eat a lot of candy you need to make sure you brush, rinse, and floss everyday like you’re supposed to otherwise tooth decay may result in you needing a new crown. If oral hygiene is not maintained tooth decay can develop along the edge of crown on the tooth structure. If the decay spreads under the crown it will fall out or need to be removed and a new crown will have to be made. If the tooth decay is more severe the tooth may need a root canal before being restored with a post in addition to a crown.

In addition to the physical breakdown of cement from pulling and chewing, it can also be broken down chemically resulting in a weaker bond. If a crown isn’t securely attached to the tooth structure and there is a margin at the edge of the crown saliva can enter under the crown and slowly weaken the bond.  Adhesive will also be weaker if blood or saliva is under the crown when it is initially placed. If any of this occurs a dentist can dry the area and recement the crown.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation and are unable to get to the dentist, temporary dental cement or denture adhesive can be purchased from a pharmacy. Of course be sure to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to avoid any discomfort or pain.  For more information on crowns, please contact Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C.