What Should I Do If a Dental Crown Breaks or Comes Loose? By Dr. Scott Parr on September 20, 2023

Dental patient pressing cheek in pain

High-quality dental crowns are designed to look and feel just like your natural teeth — so much so that you and others can’t even tell you have one. Unfortunately, this perception can be shattered if a crown becomes damaged or dislodged. Our team in Virginia Beach, VA, has put together this step-by-step guide on what to do if your dental crown becomes damaged or loose.

First, let’s look at some of the most common reasons a dental crown can break in the first place:

What Can Cause a Dental Crown to Break or Loosen?

Dental crowns are durable, but like your natural teeth, can be damaged. Any of the following can fracture or chip your dental crown:

  • Accidental trauma: Falling and landing on your face or getting hit in the face (with a ball, for example).
  • Bruxism, grinding, or clenching your teeth: Patients who suffer from bruxism or otherwise put tremendous pressure on their crowns by grinding and clenching their teeth.
  • Decay: While the crown itself will not decay, it may need replacement if the tooth becomes infected.

Your Crown Is Broken or Loose: What Should You Do?

Contact Your Dentist ASAP

If your dental crown is broken, contact your dentist or our Virginia Beach practice as soon as possible. A dentist will be able to recommend the best course of action depending on the particulars of your situation. No matter what treatment is required, seeking professional care immediately is crucial to avoid further damage to your teeth and gums.

Collect the Broken Piece(s) of Your Crown

If the crown is partially or completely dislodged, remove it from your mouth. It’s important to be gentle here to avoid causing more damage or discomfort. Inspect your crown for fractures or pieces that may have broken off and keep them; they may be useful in the repair process.

If you can’t see a dentist right away, consider picking up some dental cement — available at most drug stores — to protect the exposed tooth until your appointment.

Clean and Protect

Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to wash away food particles or debris that may be trapped between your tooth and the crown. Place gauze on the tooth if it is bleeding.

You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to gently clean your crown. Once you’ve cleaned it, you can use dental adhesive to temporarily reattach the crown, helping to protect your exposed tooth and minimize sensitivity.

Manage Pain

To keep sensitivity or discomfort at bay, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers. You may also use dental wax to cover the sharp edges of the broken crown that could irritate your gums, cheeks, or tongue.

Dealing With a Broken Crown? Contact Us Now

A broken or loose dental crown can be sudden and stressful. However, following the necessary steps (based on the severity of your unique situation) will help you handle the situation and protect your oral health.

Whether you’ve got an overt dental emergency or something just doesn’t quite feel right with your restoration, get in touch with our team in Virginia Beach today.

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The Smile Center

The Smile Center

The Smile Center in Virginia Beach has been providing high-quality dental care since 1988. We are proud to be affiliated with:

  • American Academy of Facial Esthetics
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact us online or call (757) 473-8482 today.

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