Although dental technology has moved on hugely in recent years, to the point at which a dental surgery can offer a huge range of cosmetic treatments on top of preventative measures and pain relief, there are still some fairly basic treatments which may be needed in the event of a tooth becoming damaged or suffering from decay, such as a dental crown or dental filling.
A filling takes the form of substances being used to fill a hole or ‘cavity’ in a tooth, thus preventing the decay spreading and tissues such as the nerves becoming exposed, whilst a crown is an artificial cover which is slipped over the top of a damaged tooth and cemented in place to restore its’ appearance and integrity. Occasionally, either a filling or crown may become loose and fall out. Sometimes this may be the result of decay taking place in another part of the tooth, thus altering its’ shape and loosening the artificial addition, whilst it’s something which also often occurs when people are biting down on an item of food which is especially hard. If this does happen then it isn’t necessarily the kind of emergency which requires instant treatment, but it may well be painful, since the tissue which is exposed is very sensitive and may well hurt when exposed to heat, cold or pressure.
If your crown has come loose and fallen out then you should put it in a safe place and try to get to your dentist as soon as possible, since the tooth left behind will be weakened and vulnerable to damage. If you can’t make it to your dentist immediately, then there are a few steps which you can take on your own behalf, particularly if your tooth is sensitive and painful.
- The first of these is to apply oil of cloves to the area using a cotton bud. This can be purchased from a chemist and is sometimes found in the spice department of a supermarket, and it will have a soothing effect on the pain in your tooth. If you’ve managed to keep hold of the crown it’s even possible that you could re-attach it yourself on a temporary basis. The first part of this process involves cleaning out the inside of the crown and then attaching it to the tooth using dental cement purchased over the counter at a pharmacy.
- If you can’t get hold of dental cement then you could use, as an emergency measure, denture adhesive or petroleum jelly. No matter how keen you are to have the crown restored, you must not resort to sticking it into place using ordinary household adhesive, since this will contain dangerous substances and may well cause damage to both the crown and the tooth itself.
When you do attend your dentist, the course of action they take will depend, to a degree, upon the condition of the crown and tooth. If the tooth is in good condition and therefor still able to support the crown then your dentist will simply clean the area and cement the crown back in place. If, on the other hand, the crown has been loosened by decay then your dentist will have to deal with this decay first and then construct a new crown to attach to the remaining structure of the tooth.