Options for when your crown keeps falling out

Because your crown keeps falling out on a regular basis, it is a huge nuisance so therefore for what other options are there?

In the previous article, we have already spoken about having a new crown made or in the worst-case scenario your tooth needs to be taken out and the options available.

However, let’s suppose that neither of the above two options are particularly palatable for you. There are always other options so let’s look at these options.

  1. If the crown that was originally made has not been in for that long, you can always go back to the dentist or the dental practice and ask to have the Crown remade again free of charge. This is not an unreasonable request, especially if the Crown is less than 2-years old. Incidentally, if you had the Crown made on the NHS, then the guarantee period is one year.
  2. If the barrier to having a new crown made is a financial barrier, you can always look at alternatives. These alternatives are changing your dental practice to a different one who may charge less. It is always worth shopping around as each dentist on a private basis can set their own charges. You may find that a new dentist has appeared in your area and they are keen to build up their list of patients and attract new patients, so they may be offering prices less than other more established dentists. In addition, you can always ask to see a more junior Dentist within the practice who may charge less. It is always worth asking and there is no harm in asking.
  3. Some patients do go abroad to have dental treatment on financial grounds but for one crown, it is very unlikely that it is going to be financially viable especially after you have paid money out for flights and cost of accommodation during your stay.
  4. You can always ask your dentist to refer you to a Teaching Hospital nearby. There are about 20 dental teaching hospitals up and down the country including Scotland, Wales UK and England and Ireland. This means that most of the time you will not be very far off from a dental Teaching Hospital. The process works by asking your dentist to make a referral and then simply waiting your turn on the waiting list to be seen. Don’t automatically assume that the waiting lists are months and months long. We have noticed that waiting lists wary tremendously depending on what area you live in, the actual dental Teaching Hospital in question and even on a month-to-month basis. As we have already mentioned before, there is no harm in asking.
  5. Did you know that many UK students are now going abroad to study dentistry? The main reason for this is that there aren’t enough places in the UK to train everyone who wants to become a dentist. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a lottery and very good students may not get a place to study dentistry in this country. As a result, they may look to get their dental degree from abroad. This is usually in Europe. Once they have got their degree, then they can easily come back to the UK to practice in the same way as somebody who qualifies from this country. It is therefore of no surprise, that there are more dentists registered in this country who gained their qualifications from abroad than those who qualified with in the UK. Some of these will obviously be British students who had to go abroad because there wasn’t a space for them at a university here for reasons as outlined above. So you might think, what has this got to do with the topic in question. The students who go abroad to study dentistry in Europe, often need patients to work on and in this way, you can always ask a European dental hospital if they would be able to do your treatment for free within the hospital setting.
  6. Finally, if you think that the crown was not very good in the very first place, you can always ask a dentist to give you a refund and that refund you can, therefore, use towards having a new crown made somewhere else. I have known cases where refund have been given and the refund amount has been more than what their next crown cost. Once again, there is no harm in asking.

What can I do to minimise my crown that keeps on coming off repeatedly?

  1. It is important to realise that when your dentist has glued the old crown back on, the glue has three distinct setting phases. The first and initial phase is where the glue sets to a reasonable hardness to keep a crown in your mouth. Many patients think that this is the definitive hardness of che crown in the mouth and as soon as this is done, they continue to chomp as normal. If you eat something hard during this time, sometimes, the crown will come off immediately but often you will weaken the underlying glue and therefore the crown but not last as long as it normally would otherwise. As a consequence, the crown comes off again which is always a nuisance.
  2. The first phase of the Crown takes about 2 to 5 minutes for the glue to set. The glue will probably at best only achieve 50% of its final hardness. This means that the glue continues setting after this initial 5-minutes. Over the next hour, the glue continues to set and probably retains 80% of its final hardness. Although this is good, it still means that 100% of the glue hardness has not yet been attained.

The final 20% of the hardness usually occurs over the next 24-hours. In practical terms, this is the next day.

This means that you need to be as careful as possible until the next day when your crown has just been put back on.

  1. It is really important to be careful when you floss around the crown. To be extra careful, I would recommend that you do not floss for the first 24-hours when a crown has been placed back in. Also, if you find that flossing catches under your crown, it is likely that the crown will become dislodged or come off again. But you might say, how do I clean in between the crown so that it does not start to smell or get gum disease or worse still become rotten underneath. The answer lies in using interdental brushes or interdental picks or interdental aids.
  2. For the first 24-hours after the crown has been put back, please avoid anything sticky such as toffees, sweets and chocolates. In addition, avoid eating any foods that require a heavy biting Force. We all know what kind of foods these are such as baguettes and muesli and so on.
  3. A common condition that even causes the best of crowns to fall off is something called bruxism. Bruxism is known as teeth grinding. This is where you grind your teeth at night or clench during the day. This means that you are placing huge amounts of pressure on your teeth including your crowns and this is where your crown can keep falling out. If you know you do grind your teeth at night or your dentist has mentioned it, ask your dentist to make you a night guard to stop you from grinding your teeth.