Even though your crown is designed and intended to last a long time, a crown can come off or an abutment can break. It’s important that you don’t attempt to clean or brush the crown or the exposed abutment. Call us as soon as possible and we can determine what course of action is best.
The cause of the failure will determine the treatment or replacement options your dentist will recommend.
Carefully look in your mouth to check the abutment that anchored the crown. If the crown fell out because the cement failed, you will see a small nub of tooth sticking out from your gums. If the crown was anchored to a dental implant, it would look like a small piece of metal. The crown itself should also appear to be hollow.
Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, can cause your gum tissue to recede. If this is the case, bacteria can sometimes gain access to the edge of the root where the crown meets the abutment and it can weaken the cement holding it in place. As long as there is no decay in the abutment, your dentist can usually cement the crown back in place with a simple procedure.
Sometimes the bacteria can attack the abutment itself, weakening the remaining enamel or even possibly infecting the pulp and root of the tooth. This might be the case if the abutment is fractured at or near the gum line. When this happens, you will be able to see some of it inside the crown. If this happens, you might need a root canal to replace the structure of the tooth.
You dentist can determine the cause and best course of action. If you have lost a crown, please call us at 520-762-0123 to schedule an appointment.