If you've ever had a dental crown pop off your tooth, then you've had the dilemma of trying to figure out what to do next. Your tooth may be sensitive and feel funny without the crown there, so you will want to get it back on as quickly as possible. However, if it's a weekend or you're on a trip, going to dentist to have the crown re-cemented may not be an option. You also may not be able to get an appointment for a week or more. Whatever the situation, here is how to cement a dental crown when you cannot get to a dentist.
Look inside your crown and make sure it is mostly hollow inside. Also, don't be alarmed if there is a quarter inch or so of post sticking out; this is normal. Whether hollow, or hollow with a bit of post sticking out, this means that in all likelihood the cement just gave way.
Gather together the items you'll need so you have them all in one spot.
Clean the tooth the crown came off of with your toothbrush and floss. Remove any remaining cement used to hold the crown from before. Rinse away any food particles or cement with water.
Open the paper clip and use it to clean out any old cement left inside the crown. If your crown has a post attached, carefully scrape off all the old cement from it and the underside of the crown.
Try to fit the crown to the tooth now that you have cleaned it. It should fit well, but you may find you have to play with how you get it on the tooth, such as coming from the side as opposed to the top, for example, when placing it on the tooth. Your teeth should fit together comfortably when you close your mouth. If they don't, then you didn't place the crown on your tooth correctly.
Check in a mirror to see how the crown looks both with your mouth open and closed. Make sure the crown looks as though it is lining up correctly and doesn't look higher than any of the other teeth, for example.
Dry off your crown, and make sure you have a clear, dry area for the next step.
Mix the cement according to the instructions.
Fill the crown, or put cement on the post and the underside of the crown.
Put the crown on your tooth the way that worked best when you were practicing. Bite down for the amount of time suggested in the instructions for the cement. They may say to let the cement set for a few minutes.
Clean any excess cement from the crown, your tongue, cheek and gum as necessary with the toothpick.
Clean between your teeth using floss. Make sure you don't pull from both ends, but just let one end go and gently pull it through.
Clean off any final remaining cement from crown and teeth around the tooth with the crown with your toothbrush and toothpick. You have now cemented your dental crown without a dentist.
In a pinch, denture adhesive and even sugarless gum can be used to cement a crown back in place temporarily.
If it looks like a piece of tooth is in the crown when it comes off, don't cement it back in. In this case, you will need to see a dentist because more of your tooth has broken off. If your crown has a post and it is loose or comes off, don't cement the crown back in. As with some tooth breaking off, in this case only your dentist can put the crown back on.
Tips and warnings
- In a pinch, denture adhesive and even sugarless gum can be used to cement a crown back in place temporarily.
- If it looks like a piece of tooth is in the crown when it comes off, don't cement it back in. In this case, you will need to see a dentist because more of your tooth has broken off.
- If your crown has a post and it is loose or comes off, don't cement the crown back in. As with some tooth breaking off, in this case only your dentist can put the crown back on.
Things you need
- Paper clip or toothpick
- Magnifying mirror
- 2 or 3 doses of temporary filling cement