How to Deal with a Loose Dental Crown
Dental crowns are a common restorative dental treatment. Crowns are designed to completely encase and protect the underlying tooth from further damage or degradation. While crowns are typically worry-free for patients, they can cause an issue when they become loose. There are a few things that you should do if you are experiencing a loose dental crown.
About Dental Crowns
Dental crowns can be made of a variety of materials. As dental science has progressed, changes in these materials may reflect the overall age of the crown. Crowns have typically been made from metals, zirconia, porcelain fused to metal, porcelain fused to zirconia and crowns that are completely ceramic.
Patients who have crowns toward the front of the mouth often have them made of either complete porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. These options help to match the crown to the natural tooth color making them less obvious when that person speaks, eats, or smiles.
Teeth that require crowns toward the back of the mouth are more often made of metals or zirconia. While these options are more obtrusive, they are more durable and can withstand the grinding action that we place on our molars and premolars.
Crowns are used when the tooth has severe damage, a break, or major decay. In these cases, the portion of the tooth that must be removed or that is already missing makes a minor repair impossible. Crowns completely cover the tooth. This offers additional support and restores your ability to chew and speak properly.
Crowns are custom made for each patient to make them fit and look as natural as possible. This means that you can expect that your crown won’t feel out of place in your mouth.
Causes of a Loose Crown
Unfortunately, crowns can sometimes become loose, and they require repair or replacement. Understanding the causes of a loose crown can help you avoid this issue.
- Underlying Decay – Sometimes the decay on the tooth continues even after the crown is placed. If this decay progresses far enough, it can affect the crowns ability to stay securely on the tooth. This decay typically occurs along the gum line where the crown has adhered to the tooth. The area where the natural tooth is exposed can harbor bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
- Dental Cement – Dental cement is used to adhere the crown to your natural tooth. In some cases, this dental cement begins to weaken over time. When this cement is less effective, the crown can become loose gradually, or sometimes suddenly if there is an impact or jarring action to that tooth.
- Sticky Foods – Although the crown is designed to function as your natural tooth, sticky foods can cause additional stresses on the crown and its ability to adhere to your tooth. Patients who consume overly sticky foods like taffy, caramels, or other candies sometimes find that their crown will gradually become loose.
- Injury – Many patients who have experienced a traumatic injury to their mouth may find that the impact has knocked their crown loose. These sudden impacts can break the bond between the crown and the underlying tooth.
What You Should Do if a Dental Crown Comes Loose
If your crown becomes loose or dislodged, you should schedule an appointment with our dentist immediately. Unfortunately, there aren’t many options that you can do yourself that will fix a loose crown, and the longer that your crown is loose, the more exposure it has to bacteria and further decay.
If your crown comes completely off, use a dental adhesive to temporarily keep it in place until you can see your dentist.
Loose crowns can be a major annoyance and a bigger issue if not treated properly. If you have a loose crown, call Cadle Cosmetic Dentistry today at 727-312-1300.