When your crown was cemented or bonded in place, it was intended to last for many years. While it is rather rare, it’s still not unheard of for something like a blow to the face, a bite issue, or chewing on your favorite sticky candy to cause a crown to come out. If you have lost a crown you should call Dr. Spear immediately to have it addressed.
If for some reason you can’t reach Dr. Spear, there are a few things you can do to help manage the problem. Ideally, the crown should be placed back on the prepared tooth structure with temporary cement or even better, denture adhesive (like fixodent). Press down firmly to seat the crown properly. This does several things. It prevents space loss by keeping teeth from drifting into the space that would be there if the crown was gone. It also prevents passive eruption of the opposing tooth or teeth. Amazingly, teeth begin to shift very quickly when they have space to do so. So, get that crown back on yourself and come into office or come in to office with your crown as soon as possible. If the teeth are allowed to shift too much, a new crown will be needed as the existing one will not seat AND the opposing tooth may need to be adjusted to regain the space that existed before.
If the abutment broke off at the gumline, you should see some or all of it inside the crown. In a situation like this, Dr. Spear might perform a root canal and place a post and core to restore enough structure to redo a crown or in rare instances, retrofit the current crown.
In some cases, chronic gum disease could have allowed bacteria to gain access to the margin where the crown is cemented to the abutment. In time, this can cause the cement holding the crown in place to fail. If this is the case, you should still see the abutment sticking out from your gums. It will look like a small nub of tooth or dull gray metal. The crown itself should also be hollow. With a little luck, Dr. Spear might be able to cement the crown back into place.
If you have lost a crown, you should call Dr. Spear at 817.920.1488 to schedule an appointment as soon as possible!