What to do When You've Lost a Filling or CrownFillings and crown placements are common techniques for tooth restoration. Most of us have received filings at some point in time. While these are used to fill cavities in your teeth, crowns are covers used to cover the tops of damaged teeth. The cost of crowns can be an issue.
Both these procedures involve introducing foreign materials into your tooth in an effort to delay or prevent decay and extend the life of the tooth. Because they are foreign materials that are artificially placed into the tooth, they can become dislodged, and get lost. There are several causes for why a filling or crown can fall out. In some cases, a filling or crown may come loose because there is decay underneath it. The decay changes the shape of the tooth, and so, the crown or the filling no longer fits as perfectly as it used to.
In most cases, a lost filling or crown is not exactly an emergency. However, the situation can be quite painful because the tooth or tissue which the filling or crown used to cover now comes in contact with hot and cold foods and drinks, pressure from your tongue, or air, causing extreme sensitivity and pain.
So, what do you do when a crown has come off? First, you make an appointment with your dentist, so you can get the problem fixed as quickly as possible. Then, you get to work finding the missing crown. Pick up the filling and preserve it. Any delay in doing this can further damage to the already weakened tooth. Not only this, a tooth that is without a crown for a long period of time can also begin to shift from its place, making the crown unfit for any further use.
Thankfully, there are certain precautions that you can take in such a situation to protect your tooth before you visit your dentist.
Dip a cotton swab in a little clove oil and apply it to the area. You'll find clove oil easily available in any drug store or in the spice aisle of your local Asian specialty foods store. Cloves are traditionally regarded as having analgesic properties, and are heavily used in Eastern dental medicine.
Also, you could find that it's actually possible to slip the crown back over the tooth. However, before trying this out yourself, donít forget to clean the crown properly, especially on the inside. You donít' want a dirty crown leaving your tooth with an infection. Next, coat the inside of the crown with dental cement, commonly available in the dental section of the drug store. Denture adhesive or petroleum jelly will work just a well. Though these solutions arenít permanent in nature, they can easily safeguard your crown until you visit a dentist.
Your dentist will look at the crown and get to work fixing it. If the crown still fits and the tooth is not decayed, he will be able to fit the crown back. If the tooth is decayed, your dentist will first clean out the decay, and then use a new filling or crown.
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