If one of your porcelain crowns fell out during a meal, you may wonder if it's safe to place the crown back on your tooth. If the crown isn't cracked or broken, it's possible to reposition it back in place. But you must make sure to clean the crown and your mouth thoroughly before you do so. Until you see a dentist for care, you don't want bacteria to infect your tooth in the meantime. Here's how you make your crown and tooth safe.
Wash Your Hands and the Crown
Before you do anything, wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm or cool water. If your crown fell out on your hand, it can pick up germs from your skin. Your hand can harbor up to 1,500 bacteria, so you don't want to expose the crown to any germs that can cause an infection in your gums or tooth later.
Next, place a towel in the sink you plan to clean your crown in. If you accidentally drop the crown, it may break upon impact. Also, use a gentle stream of water during the rinsing. Be sure to remove every particle of food from the inside and outside surfaces of the crown.
Place the crown on a sterile surface to dry, such as a paper towel or freshly washed cloth. Now, you're ready to clean your mouth.
Clean Your Mouth and Replace the Crown
If your tooth is in good shape, carefully clean it with a damp toothbrush. You can use toothpaste if the tooth contains food or plaque. If your tooth hurts or has decay, gently swish warm or room temperature water around your mouth to clean it. Pay close attention to your tooth and how it feels. If your tooth feels sensitive to the water's temperature, you may have an exposed nerve in the tooth.
Examine your tooth in a mirror and look for signs of redness and swelling in your gums. You might see a small pus-like pimple on your gums or around the tooth. If you see these problems, contact a dentist immediately, as you may have an abscess in the tooth. An abscess can be potentially dangerous if it leaks pus or spreads bacteria to other areas of the mouth, face, and body.
If the tooth doesn't show the signs above, carefully replace the crown. Don't force the crown over your tooth if it doesn't fit properly. Instead, place a sterile piece of gauze or cotton ball over the tooth. Change the gauze or cotton ball regularly to avoid getting germs in the tooth.
Call a dental crown dentist and explain your situation. If your tooth needs treatment, such as root canal or cleaning, a dentist like those at Demianko Dental Care can complete it before they replace a new crown on your tooth.