Once dental crowns are cemented into place, the general idea is that they will stay there pretty much indefinitely—until such time as the crown needs to be replaced, quite a few years down the road. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out this way, and sometimes a dental crown can become loose while still staying attached to the tooth. What's the best way to manage an annoyingly loose dental crown?
Home Repair Is Not Needed
Since the crown is only loose and is still attached to the tooth, a home repair kit for dental crowns will be of no use. These are intended to allow you to temporarily cement the crown back into place but aren't relevant in your case, so you don't need to rush out to a pharmacy to buy one. It's in your best interests to keep the crown exactly where it is for the moment.
Pressure and Friction
As soon as you notice that the crown is loose, you'll need to call your dentist. Explain the situation and ask for the earliest possible appointment. It's not a dental emergency, so there may be a short wait before your dentist can see you. As difficult as it might be, don't touch the loose crown, either with your fingers or your tongue. It can be tempting, but any pressure and friction can loosen the crown even further and may cause it to detach.
Be Careful With Your Diet
Pressure and friction can come from other sources too. You need to be quite careful with your diet while you wait to see your dentist. As much as you're able to, try to stick to a soft food diet. Anything that's too crunchy, sticky, or chewy can pull the crown away from the tooth.
Manage Your Discomfort
Despite your best efforts to keep your crown in place, the tooth may still feel uncomfortable. Because the crown is loose, underlying parts of the tooth may now be exposed. These sections may lack a tooth's natural protective enamel—which was either removed to accommodate the crown or was lost to decay or accident (which was the reason for the crown in the first place). The tooth can now be noticeably sensitive, but this won't be severe and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief.
Cementing the crown back onto the tooth isn't a major job for your dentist, but for your own comfort, you will have to take a few precautions while you wait for your appointment.
Contact your dentist for more information about dental crowns.