What to do if a loose crown or bridge falls out?
Situations that these instructions apply to.
This page provides directions for a temporary solution for uncomplicated cases where a dental crown ('cap') has come loose from its tooth and subsequently fallen out. (The restoration has come "unglued.").
This same technique can be applied to lost bridges. It can also be used if you have a temporary crown or bridge come off.
Other details that may be of interest.
This page also provides estimates for how much it will cost to have your crown or bridge permanently recemented. Or, if you've lost your restoration totally, replacement prices can be found here: Crowns, Bridges
How to temporarily recement a crown or bridge that has fallen out.
This technique uses denture adhesive as glue to temporarily recement a crown or bridge that has come off.
On its own, this adhesive is not really strong enough to tightly anchor a loose restoration. But it can add enough stability that makes wearing it possible, at least for some events or activities, whereas without it doing so could be quite troublesome.
Precautions about wearing loose dental work.
When wearing a restoration that's been temporarily "cemented" using this technique, you need to be aware of the concerns and precautions we list below.
And, of course, as soon as arrangements can be made the item needs to be permanently recemented by a dentist.
a) Remove any loose debris from around your tooth or the inside of your crown.
Recementing a loose dental crown.
The loose crown won't fully seat if it contains debris.
As a first step, check your tooth and the interior of your crown for loose debris (food, fragments of dental cement). These kinds of objects should be easy to brush or rinse away.
They must be removed because they will prevent the crown from seating properly on your tooth (see illustration).
b) Seat the lost crown on your tooth as a test.
Figure out the orientation of your crown and then gently slip it back onto its tooth.
Then, with absolutely no pressure, close your teeth together so to make sure that it's seated properly. (It should not interfere with your bite in any way. Your bite should feel exactly like it did before the crown came off.)
c) "Glue" the loose crown in place with denture adhesive.
Once tested, remove the crown from your tooth and then fill it with denture adhesive paste. Use as much as you want.
Now, reseat the crown back over your tooth (the excess adhesive will squish out and can be wiped away) and check your bite again (like before, using zero pressure), so to make sure that the cap is seated properly.
Other temporary "cements" you can use.
Using denture adhesive paste (like out of a tube) is a convenient product to use. And it typically has quite a bit of stickiness to it, so it tends to work well. But there are other items you can use too, some of which you may already have around the house.
Denture adhesive powder is one. Vaseline or toothpaste can also serve as (less effective) substitutes. Some crowns or bridges may stay in place surprisingly well without the use of any type of temporary cement at all.
d) Be in contact with your dentist.
You absolutely must contact your dentist's office to let them know that your crown has fallen out. The fix we describe here is only a temporary one (just intended for a few days use). And should only be used for wearing the crown on a part-time basis (see 'concerns and precautions' section below).
When you make contact with them, let them know that you're following these instructions. And, of course, make arrangements for them to recement your crown permanently.