What To Do About a Loose Dental Crown

Dental Crowns Des Plaines, IL

Teeth that are severely decayed or fractured may benefit from dental crowns, which cover the damaged portions of the teeth, protecting them and restoring their functionality. A dental crown is crafted to fit the remaining portion of the tooth exactly and permanently bond to it. However, crowns are not perfect, and while they are usually very durable, they can come loose for a number of reasons. If the loose crown causes extreme pain or sensitivity, or the tooth is in danger of falling out, it could be considered a dental emergency.

5 steps to take when a crown is loose

Even if it is not an emergency, you should see a dentist for a loose crown at the earliest appointment available. It may be possible to recement the existing crown. If not, the dentist will have to order a new one for you and make a temporary replacement to protect the tooth until the new one is ready. While you are waiting for your appointment, take the following steps.

1. Do not touch or wiggle the crown

As long as the abutments under dental crowns remain intact, it should be possible to replace them. However, wiggling the crown may cause damage to the underlying tooth. It could also cause the crown to fall out completely, which you should avoid if possible.

2. Protect the crown

You can temporarily stabilize the crown so it does not wiggle around and cause further damage by using dental cement. This is available for purchase over the counter, and you can apply it yourself. Before placing the temporary dental cement, use gauze to dry the tooth and the crown. Place it carefully and then allow the adhesive to set by biting down gently but firmly on a piece of gauze for five minutes. This can only stabilize your tooth for a few hours, so ideally, you should see the dentist before then.

3. Control the pain

A loose crown may cause pain or sensitivity. You can keep this under control by applying a topical numbing agent to the affected area or taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package.

4. Be careful eating or chewing

If you have to eat anything prior to your dental appointment to fix your loose crown, be careful to chew on the opposite side from the affected area. Do not eat anything too sticky or crunchy.

5. Know what to do if the crown falls out completely

Be careful to avoid swallowing the crown. If it is not broken, save it and bring it with you to your appointment. The dentist can evaluate the crown and determine whether it can be put back in place.

Understanding the causes of a loose crown

There are many reasons a crown can become loose. Familiarizing yourself with these common causes can help you adjust your daily habits so you can improve the overall lifespan of a dental crown.


Chronic teeth-grinding or clenching is a condition known as bruxism. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, one in three people have this dental condition and many may not even know it. While a person can clench or grind their teeth at any time, many people only do it at night in their sleep. They may experience the side effects, such as a headache or jaw pain, without realizing the true underlying cause.

Habitually grinding your teeth can damage a crown over time, causing it to become loose. Fortunately, there are many treatment options for bruxism, including stress management, therapy, and the use of mouth guards.

Dietary choices

Eating hard, tough, or crunchy foods can put a lot of strain on a crown, especially if these foods are consumed on a regular basis. Candies, chips, seeds, nuts, and whole crunchy fruits or vegetables are some of the worst offenders. Cut your food into manageable pieces and avoid these foods to prevent a crown from loosening over time.


Even with a healthy diet, good lifestyle choices, and proper dental hygiene, most dental crowns do not last forever. With excellent care and the advantage of good overall oral health, crowns can last for decades. However, it is normal for crowns to wear out and become loose after 10 to 15 years.


Dental crowns are built to last for years, but a number of factors can cause them to come loose. It is important to prevent your loose crown from falling out if possible and to see your dentist promptly for repair.

Request an appointment here: https://www.healthydentalcenter.com or call Healthy Dental Center at (847) 390-5800 for an appointment in our Des Plaines office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges in Des Plaines, IL.

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