In the not-so-distant past, a cavity spelled the end of a perfect smile. A lost or broken tooth stayed lost or broken, and a cavity-filled tooth would often fall out on its own. Those who lost teeth (including George Washington) used materials like ivory to replace them, but nothing looked as natural as the dental appliances we use today.
Nowadays, if you have a broken or cracked tooth, you have next to nothing to worry about. Your dentist can fix the problem with a simple crown or veneer. He or she can fill cavities and protect the remaining tooth. An orthodontist can even straighten your teeth to give you the look you’ve always wanted.
Modern dental appliances are fairly simple and straightforward, but they do sometimes come loose. If your crown falls out or your bracket pops off, though, you don’t need to worry. Keep reading to learn more about what you and your dentist can do to preserve your perfect smile when an accident happens.
When your dentist first places a crown, it should bond fairly securely to your tooth. However, accidents and injuries can knock the crown loose. If the tooth beneath the crown starts to decay, the crown can also slide off. Chewing on particularly sticky food can sometimes pull the crown out, and if you grind your teeth, the constant pressure can weaken the crown to the point that it falls off.
If the crown comes loose, you don’t want to leave it in your mouth, since you could aspirate or swallow it. Take it out and put it in a safe place. In some cases, the dentist might be able to replace the original crown, especially if you see the dentist as soon as possible after the crown falls off. If you don’t have any tooth decay, the same crown will likely fit perfectly.
However, if you wait too long to visit the dentist, your teeth could move without the crown to maintain the tooth’s position. Once the teeth move, the original crown likely won’t fit. You might also need a new crown if decay changes the shape of your tooth.
When your crown falls off, call and ask your dentist what you should do. Schedule an appointment, and then follow your dentist’s instructions. The dentist will likely tell you to gently clean the un-capped tooth and do your best to keep any food particles out of the gap left behind.
You should avoid trying to glue the crown back to the tooth. Some websites recommend buying temporary cement to replace the crown, but even with temporary cement the crown can still come loose, which might lead to you accidentally swallowing it.
You should never take a drastic measure like superglueing the tooth in place-glue and other tough substances will damage your tooth, perhaps irreparably. In contrast, your dentist can replace the lost crown quickly and easily and without harming your tooth at all.
Fillings don’t last forever. If you visit your dentist every six months, he or she will note any fillings nearing the end of their lifespan and replace them as needed.
If a filling falls out in between visits, you don’t need to panic-your dentist can replace the filling easily, though you should call and schedule an appointment. If food debris enters the cavity, the tooth can start to decay, so visit within a few days.
If your filled tooth is still alive, it might feel extra sensitive to hot and cold foods once the filling falls out. While you wait for your appointment, be particularly careful not to aggravate your tooth and to only brush gently around it as you keep food particles away.
Veneers that fall off your teeth shouldn’t hurt-they’re mostly meant to provide cosmetic enhancement. You can keep your porcelain veneer in a safe place, just like you would with a lost crown. Your dentist might be able to replace the original veneer. Again, as with crowns, don’t attempt to re-glue or re-cement the veneer to your tooth, since the material will do more harm than good.
In some cases, a lost veneer indicates that your tooth’s cosmetic damage is too severe to be covered by a veneer. Your dentist might talk to you about switching to a crown instead.
Brackets sometimes pop off if you chew on something sticky or hard, or if the brackets weren’t glued on firmly enough. If your bracket comes loose or falls off the tooth, get in touch with your orthodontist. While you wait for an appointment, your orthodontist might give you some wax to place over the bracket so it doesn’t hurt your mouth and lip.
If the bracket is loose enough that it slides up and down the wire, try gently scooting the bracket to a comfortable position. Get your orthodontist’s advice before you try to move the bracket.
Get In Touch With Your Dentist
If a crown, filling, veneer, or bracket falls out, it’s not the end of the world. Your dentist is here to help! Call Silverado Family Dental to schedule an appointment. Soon, your tooth and dental appliance will be as good as new, and you can get back to smiling in a jiffy.