Is a Loose Crown a Dental Emergency?
A loose crown can be a stressful dental problem to have. If it is left untreated, it could be serious, as it may lead to tooth pain, tooth decay or tooth infection. But sometimes, patients don’t consider a loose crown as an emergency, because they don’t realise that ignoring a loose crown may aggravate the problem and cause further discomfort.
Here at Didsbury Dental Practice, we often get asked the question ‘is a loose crown a dental emergency?’
In this blog article, we will outline everything you need to know about loose crowns and why it is best to book an urgent appointment if your crown becomes loose.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a type of cap, which goes on top of a damaged tooth. It is a permanent solution to restore the damaged tooth.
- metal (such as gold or another alloy)
- porcelain fused to metal
- all resin
- all ceramic
- stainless steel – used to preserve badly decayed baby teeth in children, or as a temporary measure on permanent teeth
Your dentist will advise you on which is the best type of crown for your requirements.
How long does a dental crown last?
With a good oral hygiene routine, a dental crown should last up to 15 years. However, over time, a crown can become loose.
When might I need to get a crown?
A dentist may fit you with a crown if you have:
- A weak tooth
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- A worn down or damaged tooth
- A badly decayed tooth
- Severely discoloured or misshapen teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- To keep a bridge in place
What are the symptoms of a loose crown?
If you suspect you have a loose crown, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- The crown is wobblier than your natural teeth (which is the most tell-tale sign)
- You are experiencing pain or throbbing under the crown
- There is a crack or fracture of the crown
- Sudden sensitivity to hot food or cold food
- Food becomes stuck on the gum line near the crown
What are the reasons why my crown has become loose?
Your dental crown may become loose if:
- You experience teeth grinding (bruxism) or constant teeth clenching, especially at night
- You have tooth decay (cavities)
- You have suffered trauma to the teeth (e.g. a blow to the mouth during sports)
- You eat foods that are sticky and chewy (like toffee or chewing gum)
- You have a really old crown which is now breaking down
- You have a poorly fitted crown
- You have the wrong size crown
- The dental cement is still setting (during the installation of the crown)
- There isn’t enough dental cement to keep the crown in place
- You have an allergic reaction to the metal used in the crown
- You are developing gum disease, so your gums are getting sore and irritated
- Your crown has become infected
- You haven’t maintained a good oral hygiene routine and taken care of your teeth
Is a loose crown a dental emergency?
Dental crowns should not become loose- they are designed to last up to 15 years, as long as you take adequate care of your teeth.
If your crown becomes loose, then this should not usually cause severe pain. But it is advisable to have it re-cemented as soon as possible, so you should see a dentist.
A loose crown absolutely constitutes a dental emergency if your symptoms are serious or potentially harmful to your oral health.
For example, if your crown becomes loose and then you experience excruciating pain in the teeth or jaw, swelling of the gums, or bleeding, this could be a sign of an infection and you should book an emergency dentist appointment as soon as possible.
You should also see an emergency dentist if you have accidentally swallowed your crown.
If you have a loose crown and you are experiencing pain which has not gone away after using over-the-counter painkillers, then you should make an emergency dentist appointment.
If your crown has become loose and you suspect that there is something not right, then you should book an urgent dentist appointment as soon as you can, as ignoring a loose dental crown may have serious consequences- it could lead to an infection or long-term damage to the tooth where your crown was fitted.
Where can I get an emergency dentist appointment for a loose crown?
All our emergency dental care is carried out by our team of experienced dental professionals who will take expert care of you and your teeth. We make it as simple as possible to book an emergency appointment.
All you have to do is call the dental emergency helpline on 0161 413 2392, or alternatively, walk into the practice and we will aim to see you as soon as possible.
To book an emergency appointment, you don’t need to be an existing patient at our practice. Emergency dentist appointments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including Bank Holidays and even Christmas Day.
Click here to find out more about the emergency dental care we offer at Didsbury Dental Practice– if you have a loose crown, then we will be able to provide you with the appropriate treatment and prevent further damage to your teeth and oral health.
What shall I do if my crown has fallen out?
Keep the crown as secure as possible, as you may be able to have it re-cemented back in place. Sometimes, a root canal treatment is recommended if it was not performed before the crown was constructed.
Contact us on 0161 413 2392 immediately to prevent this from happening.
What emergency treatment can I get if I have a loose crown?
Our team of dental specialists at Didsbury Dental Practice are trained to help patients with any type of dental emergency, including loose crowns.
If your crown becomes loose, then we can replace it with a new crown. A crown will strengthen a severely broken down tooth and improve the appearance, shape and alignment of teeth.
What should I do if I have a loose crown, but can’t see a dentist?
Try your very best to get an emergency dentist appointment, so that a dentist can give you the appropriate treatment and care.
However, if it is impossible for you to get access to a dentist, then you should try to hold the crown in place with a denture adhesive.
Can I sleep with a loose crown?
No, it is not recommended that you fall asleep with a loose crown in your mouth. If you do this, there is a risk that you will inhale the crown or swallow it in your sleep, which can be dangerous.
You should make an urgent dentist appointment as soon as possible.
Can I eat with a loose crown?
Yes, you can eat with a loose crown, but don’t chew on that side where the crown is.
Should I brush my teeth if my crown fell out?
You should only brush your teeth gently, without applying too much pressure on the crown.
What if I accidentally swallow a loose crown?
Consult a doctor immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry.
The crown may become lodged in your lungs, which can be dangerous.
Or, the crown will pass through your system in a few days.
How can I fix a loose crown at home?
We always advise patients to book a dentist appointment if their crown becomes loose, as this is the fastest and most efficient way of protecting the damaged tooth from further damage or infection.
While you are waiting for your dentist appointment, follow these tips
Keep the affected area clean.
Only use denture adhesives to keep the crown in place.
Don’t ever use normal glue adhesives like superglue to lodge the crown in place.
Don’t chew on the side of the mouth where your loose crown is.
Only eat soft foods which are easy to chew, such as soups & scrambled eggs.
Rinse with a gentle mouthwash, to keep the gums fresh and healthy.
Avoid smoking, as this can aggravate bleeding and prevent your gums from healing, should there be an infection.
Avoid really hot drinks.
Avoid sugary drinks, which encourage plaque and bacteria.
If you experience any severe symptoms such as non-stop bleeding, excruciating pain in the teeth or jaw, or swelling of the gums, then visit an emergency dentist or use the NHS 111 service.