Sometimes a tooth or teeth may need care due to illness or injury and a highly effective solution is a dental crown – a cap or covering for your tooth. A dental crown is one of the most common dental restoration treatments, and for good reason. Our teeth are essential to our health, happiness and confidence, so preserving them improves health and quality of life. Studies show the connection between good oral health and total body health, and conversly, poor oral health has been linked to health conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. So considering that, is a fallen out crown a dental emergency? 

What to do if a crown falls out?

If you have a dental crown that falls out, it’s important to take appropriate steps to preserve the integrity of your tooth until you can get your crown repaired. So why is it so important to take care of your tooth (or teeth) if a crown falls out? Because a dental crown is a professional-grade covering that protects a damaged tooth. If the crown falls out, the damaged tooth is exposed which can be painful and cause additional damage to the tooth. 

At Ranieu Family Dental, we use a high-quality porcelain to customize your durable dental crown. Many people still have old gold or silver crowns, that aren’t as durable and can wear out or become broken or fall out over time. 

Is a fallen-out crown a dental emergency? Yes. It may not be the kind of traumatic oral injury you’d typically associate with dental emergencies, but a fallen out crown is still considered a dental emergency and requires care as soon as possible. 

If you crown falls out, it’s a good reason to make a dental appointment with your emergency dentist in Vancouver, WA. Ranieu Family Dental offers weekend appointments, so be sure to contact our office as soon as possible if you have a dental crown emergency. 

Here’s what you need to do if your dental crown falls out. 

Take these action steps to give yourself the best possible dental experience.

  1. Keep calm and call your dentist. Fallen out dental crowns can be replaced or repaired, so stay calm and take action to alleviate any temporary pain. Call Ranieu Family Dental for an emergency dental appointment (360) 735-9422
  2. Clean your crown carefully with gentle soap and water or toothpaste. Put it in a plastic bag or storage container and keep it in a safe place. Remember to bring it with you to your dental appointment. 
  3. Protect your exposed tooth structure. Your dental crown is a protective covering for a damaged tooth. With your crown no longer covering your tooth, the nerves and sensitive tissue may be exposed and sensitive to touch and temperature. Dental wax or temporary dental cement (available at most pharmacies) will protect your tooth until your dentist can fix it. 
  4. Avoid crunchy, chewy or tough foods that can dislodge the temporary tooth crown. Hot and cold foods or drinks may also cause pain, so avoid those until your porcelain crown is replaced. 

How long can you go without a crown?

Technically a tooth can survive for a few weeks without a crown. But just because it can doesn’t mean you should wait that long to correct a fallen out crown. As we discussed above, when your damaged tooth structure is exposed, it can be painful or sensitive, and prolonged exposure can cause even more damage. 

It’s best to repair and replace the fallen out dental crown as soon as possible. Your emergency dentist in Vancouver, WA, will be able to get you into our office quickly to fix your crown. If, for some reason, you’re unable to get to our office within a day (like if you’re traveling, for example) then we recommend trying to temporarily recement the crown with vaseline, toothpaste or sugar-free gum. Or if you can’t find the crown, use dental wax or cement to cover your now exposed damaged tooth. 

What are dental crowns?

Porcelain crowns are fixed prosthetic objects cemented to your tooth or teeth that provides a natural-looking solution to restore function and appearance to your smile. Over time, your teeth can get damaged from tooth decay, injuries or normal wear and tear. Porcelian crowns restore a tooth or teeth that are too damaged to repair with fillings or bonding. The porcelain material is highly durable and it’s tooth-like appearance makes it appropriate for any tooth coverings – restoring the tooth’s size, shape, strength and appearance. The porcelain prosthetic is a “cap” or “crown” over the remaining healthy tooth structure. 

When do you need a dental crown? 

Getting a crown can be your permanent smile solution. Your expert restorative and cosmetic dentist in Vancouver, WA, custom makes your porcelain crown(s) to fit your smile. You may need a dental crown for many reasons, which can include: 

  • Restore a broken or worn-down tooth
  • Protect a cracked tooth from further damage
  • Cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth
  • Cover a dental implant or tooth treated with a root canal
  • Hold a dental bridge in place

Do I need a crown or a filling? 

Both dental crowns and fillings are treatments used to repair a damaged tooth. Your dentist will recommend either a crown or a filling, depending on the extent of tooth decay or damage. A crown is used when a large portion of the natural tooth is decayed, broken or cracked. In this case, most of the tooth may be removed and a tooth-like prosthetic is needed to mimic the size and function of your natural tooth.

A filling is used for minor tooth decay when only a small amount of tooth structure is removed and replaced with the filling material to treat the cavity. Here’s a quick guide to help you determine if a crown or filling is needed. 

Dental crown

  • Treats severe tooth decay or damage
  • Requires dental impressions 
  • Covers and strengthens all or most of the tooth

Dental filling 

  • Treats minor tooth decay 
  • No dental impressions needed
  • Fills in a small portion of the tooth

To know if you need a crown or a filling, it’s important to schedule a consultation with your dentist to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific situation. 

What are the benefits of dental crowns?

A dental crown is highly beneficial to your overall oral health. Since crowns cover all or part of a damaged tooth, it also maintains the health of the surrounding teeth and gum tissue and preserves jaw structure. A crown mimics the shape and size of your natural tooth and functions just the same. If your damaged tooth is not repaired, it can become infected (affecting surrounding tissues and possibly spreading infection) and may need extraction. 

Missing teeth can, over time, change the appearance of your facial features and smile if not corrected. Your remaining teeth will move to “fill in the gaps” and this alters your ability to speak and chew, in addition to changing your appearance. 

Both your health and appearance will benefit from porcelain dental crowns. 

Natural appearance 

If you want to maintain a natural smile, you may wonder –  do dental crowns look natural? Yes, they absolutely do! Ranieu Family Dental offers porcelain crowns that are tooth-colored, highly durable crowns made to last and look great, too. You’ll benefit from a natural-looking smile solution that restores the function of your mouth so you can smile, speak and chew comfortably. 

Since they’re so durable, what are crowns made of? Ranieu Family Dental offers dental crowns made from porcelain, the most aesthetically pleasing type of dental crown (other older types of crowns are metal – silver or gold) because the color most closely resembles natural tooth color. If you have a large filling, root canal or broken or fractured tooth, then porcelain crowns could be a good choice.

Durable solution 

Dental crowns can look great and provide a long-lasting solution for many dental problems. But is a dental crown permanent? Not quite. Nothing lasts forever, though dental crowns are certainly a long-term solution. A well-maintained crown lasts, on average, around 15 years and if you take care of your oral health properly, crowns commonly last up to 30 years. When paired with a good oral hygiene routine — including brushing and flossing twice daily along with regular professional cleanings — the following actions can keep your teeth and crown in tip top shape for longer. 

  • Avoid grinding your teeth. This wears down the tooth’s surface and can lead to fractures and cracks. Ask your dentist about a nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep. 
  • Avoid biting your nails. This can cause friction between your teeth and cause wear and tear. 
  • Don’t chew ice. This can cause unnecessary damage to your teeth or crown and can cause cracks. 

Learn more about dental crowns and how they can benefit your teeth, smile and overall oral health, and contact the Ranieu Family Dental office today to schedule your appointment. We hope you don’t have an emergency, but if you do, we’re ready to help!