If your tooth is damaged and cannot be fixed with a dental filling, your dentist will probably recommend a permanent crown.
However, the process of making a permanent crown and fitting it into your mouth is not that simple. Namely, a temporary tooth crown is a necessary step before a permanent one.
Naturally, temporary crowns are not made from the same material as permanent ones. As such, they are not as sturdy and can easily break and fall off.
If your temporary crown fell off, don’t panic. Read on to find out what you can do to protect your teeth until you see your dentist.
When Do You Need a Temporary Crown?
A temporary crown is a little cap shaped like a tooth that covers and protects your tooth or an implant until a permanent crown can be fitted. Temporary crowns are necessary because a permanent tooth crown cannot be made quickly. It takes a lot of time and delicate crafting to produce them.
In the meantime, something needs to protect the remaining part of your tooth to ensure it stays intact and free of bacteria. That is where temporary crowns come in.
They offer you numerous benefits:
- Protection for your tooth and gums
- No tooth or gum sensitivity
- You can smile confidently without a gap
- They maintain the proper spacing between your teeth
- You can eat and chew normally
- Your dentist can assess how your permanent crown will function
How Long Do You Need to Have a Temporary Crown?
Your temporary crown will most likely have to be in place for two to three weeks. Of course, certain dentists and clinics can make a permanent crown sooner.
However, the most high-quality and long-lasting crowns take more time than that.
How much you will wear a temporary crown also depends on the amount of dental work that was necessary prior to its fitting.
If you had to get dental implants, for example, you might need more than a month for your tooth and gums to heal. Only then can your dentist fit you with a permanent crown.
Will the Temporary Crown Look Like Your Natural Teeth?
Yes, the crown will be pretty similar to your teeth, both in shape and in color. The only and main difference will be in its material and, therefore, its strength.
The temporary crown will be more delicate than your natural teeth or the permanent crown, meaning that you will have to take special care of it.
My Temporary Crown Fell Off: Causes and Prevention
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As we have already mentioned, your temporary crown will be rather prone to breaking off or falling out if you aren’t careful.
Here are the leading causes of your crown falling off:
The Food You Consume
Your dentist will use a special type of cement when they fit your temporary crown on your tooth or implant. This cement is made to hold the crown in place for a short period, up to a month.
Thus, it is not as strong as the usual cement used for permanent crowns.
As such, it will not be able to hold on for too long if you keep eating hard or sticky foods. So, you should try to avoid any hard snacks, especially nuts or chips.
In addition, it would be best if you wouldn’t eat sticky sweets and anything too cold.
Sweet foods could cause decay and bacteria if your crown isn’t fixed well. Meanwhile, cold or hot foods could cause the cement holding the crown in place to break down.
Here is a somewhat comprehensive list of foods you ought to avoid:
- Steak or any type of tough meat
- Crusty bagels or bread
- Hard or crunchy fresh fruits and vegetables (carrots or apples)
- Ice cream
- Hard candy
- Ice cubes
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should just lay off everything you love. Instead, we suggest that you are careful and try to protect the temporary crown as much as possible.
The Way You Care for the Crown
Temporary crowns require just a little bit more care than your natural teeth. For example, you need to floss carefully so that you don’t dislodge the crown accidentally.
Simply try sliding the floss in and out gently, rather than pulling it down as usual. That way, you’ll keep the crown in place while still caring for your teeth.
Likewise, you need to be careful while brushing your teeth. Try to apply less pressure to the tooth with the crown, and brush your teeth slowly, so you don’t damage anything.
What to Do If Your Temporary Crown Fell Off
The first and most important thing to do is not to panic. These things happen, and it really isn’t a big deal. Call your dentist as soon as you notice the crown fell out, and schedule an appointment. They will see you as soon as possible and replace the crown.
If they cannot see you immediately because it is late or the weekend, you will still be fine. Just try not to chew with your tooth and keep the area as clean as possible.
In addition, be careful so that you don’t cut your tongue or the insides of your mouth. That can happen if the tooth underneath the crown is crooked and sharp.
All in all, you just need to be patient and wait for your dentist appointment. Don’t be nervous, and try not to panic. Your tooth will be fine, and your dentist will fit you with a new temporary crown in no time.
A Few Parting Words
Temporary crowns are a common intermediate step that comes before a permanent dental crown. However, they are made out of delicate materials and can break or fall off if you are not careful.
If your temporary crown fell off, the most important thing is to call your dentist and schedule an appointment. There, you will get a new crown, and you will be able to continue living as usual.
About The Author:
Maria S. Johnson, DDS, is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. She teaches both in the undergraduate Doctor of Dental Medicine curriculum and the Advanced Education General Dentistry Residency.