How to Fix a Dental Crown

Updated March 21, 2017

Crowns are porcelain, metal, or porcelain over metal coverings placed over teeth that are broken or are damaged by too much decay. The Columbia College of Dental Medicine states that most crowns (sometimes called dental "caps") last around seven years, but some last more than 40, depending on the type of material used. Crowns can fall out due to lack of adequate adhesive or an improper fit, when decay changes the shape of the tooth underneath it. A lost crown can feel painful, as the sensitive tooth tissue underneath it responds to temperature, air or pressure. Calling your dentist to schedule an appointment is first on your "to do" list. But if your tooth is causing you discomfort, you can temporarily fix a dental crown pending consultation and treatment with your dentist.

Use a cotton swab to daub the sensitive tooth area with clove oil, advises the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. This will provide temporary relief pending your dental appointment.

If you still have the crown, try to attach it to your tooth. Make sure to clean the crown well first. You can choose from several temporary over-the-counter adhesives, such as tooth cement, denture adhesive or petroleum jelly.

Apply dental cement directly onto the surface of the tooth, if you no longer have the crown in your possession. This will protect the surface and assuage discomfort pending your dental appointment.

Permit your dentist to use the treatment appropriate for your situation. A dentist may opt to replace the existing crown, if it still fits properly (and you still have the crown in your possession). If there's much decay affecting the tooth or if you no longer have the crown, you will need a new one.


Never use household glue to attach a crown to your teeth, warns the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. Not only are they unsafe, they will damage both the loose crown and your tooth. The above steps are suggested as a temporary way to fix a dental crown and are not meant to supplant the services of a dental professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Clove oil
  • Cotton swabs
  • Temporary tooth cement, denture adhesive or petroleum jelly
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About the Author

Lisa Sefcik has been writing professionally since 1987. Her subject matter includes pet care, travel, consumer reviews, classical music and entertainment. She's worked as a policy analyst, news reporter and freelance writer/columnist for Cox Publications and numerous national print publications. Sefcik holds a paralegal certification as well as degrees in journalism and piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin.