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Six Reasons Why Your Crown Fell Off

Gold Crown Fell OffHave you ever bit into a sticky piece of candy only to find out that the candy grabbed the crown that your dentist just put on your tooth?

If so, you're not alone!  Many people lose crowns from their teeth.  A crown that fell off is a common "emergency" that we see at the dental school.

You may be curious why your crown fell off.  To satisfy your curiosity, I've written this article to let you know about some of the reasons that crowns fall off teeth.

Six Reasons Why Your Crown Fell Off

1 - The tooth underneath the crown got decayed. Many people think that when they get a crown, their tooth is bulletproof.  Crowned teeth can get cavities!  The cavities usually occur right at the junction of the crown and the tooth along the gum-line.  In this case, your dentist will evaluate the tooth to see if it is able to hold a new crownyou will most likely need a new crown made

2 - The cement holding the crown on wasn't strong enough. This could be due to contamination of the cement while it was being prepared or any number of other reasons.  If this is the case, your dentist can usually re-cement the crown back ont your tooth.

3 - You ate too many chewy foods. As you can see in the picture above, one jelly belly was all it took for Bev Sykes' crown to fall off of her tooth!  Over time, sticky foods can gradually work a crown loose.  When the crown is pulled off by sticky food, it can usually be re-cemented onto the tooth.

4 - The crown broke. In some instances, due to lots of force, the crown can break and fall off the tooth.  Sometimes a crown can gradually form a crack that eventually loosens the crown's seal with the tooth and knocks it loose.

5 - You abused your crown. Maybe you used your teeth as tools, or you ended up putting unnatural stresses on the crown by grinding your teeth.   In any case, when you subject your crown to unnatural forces, you stress the bond that holds the crown to the tooth.

6 - There wasn't enough tooth structure to hold onto the crown. Sometimes the teeth are so short that when dentists prepare them for a crown, there's not much tooth left for the crown to "grab on to" when it is finally in place.  This is more common in back teeth that have been worn down over years of use and are short.

Conclusion

There they are!  If your crown fell off, it was most likely due to one of the reasons mentioned above.  It is always best to go see your dentist when a crown falls off.  If you can't make it to your dentist in a timely manner, they may recommend that you pick up some temporary crown cement from your local pharmacy to hold the crown on until you can be seen at the dental office.

Do you have any questions about crowns and why they fall off?  I'd love to hear any questions or comments you may have in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!


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34 Comments |  Leave A Comment

  1. back tooth crown has fallen off 3 times. dentist made a whole new crown. looks as big as my pinkie nail. just got replaced 2 weeks ago. no cost to me. he said he made it a little longer and to go deeper into gum line. fell off today. what is up with this. the tooth looks like a little nub of nothing. how could anything adhere to this. any other suggestions, what about laminate?

    • Hi JM - Sometimes teeth are so broken down that it is really hard to adhere a crown to it. We usually need at least 2 millimeters of tooth structure around the entire tooth in order for a crown to adhere well to the tooth. I'm not sure what the condition of the tooth is, but your dentist will be able to offer you all of your options. I hope everything goes well! Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for your comment!

  2. It definitively sounds like your prepared tooth is too short. Usually not much can be done because the opposing tooth will not allow for any more room. Probably the best option is for your dentist to use resin cement. It is the strongest dental cement out there.

  3. I lost a crown while flossing, and the dentist said it had come off due to poor fit. There was a large gap between crown and tooth, filled with dental cement, and apparently cement isn't designed for this. Is this common, and is there any recourse if your dentist does a bad job like this causing later problems?

    • Hi CD - Ideally, the crown is designed to fit very tightly onto the tooth with only a small gap (measured in micrometers) for the cement.

      I'm not sure about recourse you can take other than talking with the dentist and telling him/her that you have to have the crown re-done and you don't feel like you should have to pay for the first crown since it was defective.

  4. I had a dental implant done 5 years ago .It came out a few times and last year the gum grew up under the loose crown and became infected and some dentist (not the one who did the implant) wanted to put a hole in it - yank it out crown and my implant (only been using temp cement).I went back to the oral surgeon he removed the excess gum and recemented the crown. It lasted only 16 months.In June it came out and some standby dentist said all my bone structure was bad and wiggled the post said it was loose and got angry with me and I went back to oral surgeon again. The oral surgeon said it was fine and maybe my bite or to use a stronger type of cement.It is out again and now the new dentist wants too see me about my bite etc. I do not trust these people twice they were wrong.They are under new management I know we are in a recession and they push for sales. I grind so I noticed I have one short old filling on top and one old tooth with a filling that kind of rests on the crown. What do you think? I had my bite checked before the implant was done. Help!!!

    • Hi Mary - Do you have a night guard to help with the grinding? It would probably be a good idea to find a dentist who someone you know can recommend to have them look at the implant and give you a second opinion. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  5. hi tom...I have had my two front teeth crowns for 30 years...last night I was brushing my teeth and one of them came loose. I feel pressure on them today and I'm afraid to eat or drink anything....its Saturday and going to be hard to find a dentist. None of your reasons that your crowns would come loose pertain to mine. I think my teeth have moved and put some pressure on those two crowns..does that make any sense? And what should I do..they are still in place and not real loose but feel "funny"? thanks ,elaine

  6. Hi, I have an appointment to have moulds made for teeth whitening but have had to get a crown put on for a cracked tooth. I'm worried about the crown being pulled off when making the moulds... How long should I wait between having the crown put on and having the moulds done?

    • Hi Colette - Depending on the type of cement used, the crown cement should be fully set within a day. If the crown does come off with the mould, it means that it didn't have a strong enough bond to the tooth.

      I hope that helps - Thanks for your comment, Colette.

  7. My crown broke off to the gum line and the crown was not hollow, thought my real tooth
    Broke off to the gum line. Dentist said it is a crown only after a year and a half why did it break off
    Second time this happened but to a different crown. Does my dentist know what he's really doing? Why should I have to pay full cost if it fell out?

  8. I did not see any about the dentist just did a bad job, i had crown fall off twice and went to a new dentist after that; he said the previous dentist angled the tooth in a way that the crown had little surface area to adhere too so that is why it fell off

  9. Huh. I just had a crown fall off last week, one of my top front teeth. It was always a tiny bit wiggly, but then so many months ago once it was wiggly enough I got in the worry habit of wiggling at it, and soon enough it came out. Also grind my teeth in my sleep. It stays in good enough except when eating, or dry mouth, or certain emphatic speech sounds. Oh well. Flies out a few times every day, and always when eating.

    Once I get a job I'll get it cemented in. Was a metal post ground into the remnants of the tooth. Rather wish I hadn't acceded to the dentist's recommendation to have it on, the original dead tooth never caused any problems at all for fifteen years, and the crown's been a pain of falling out. The temp crown cracked off on a banana peel or french bread crust I bit to start, and it subsequently disappeared in my sleep and actually had to go a few days until the permanent crown with no front tooth, feeling like a hick. Need crowns on all my molars due to bad enamel and tooth grinding in my sleep, starting to have pain.

  10. hi i just have a quick question well i just got my temporary crown and bridge on my 3 front teeth i was wondering can talking make it fall off??because im going to be preaching and singing this sunday and i dont want it to fall off so i was just wondering if it is possible that it can fall of while talking???

  11. I HAD ALL MY TEETH CAPPED AND CANT GET USED TO THE LOWER .BUT THE 4 SET IN LOWER FRONT CAME LOSE ABOUT I OR TWO MONTHS AFTHER COMPLETION OF PROJECT
    MY DENTIST SAID HE MIGHT RUIN THE CAOP IF HE REMOVES THEM TO RECEMENT 6 MONTHS LATER AT MY FIRST CLEANING I MENTIONED IT AGAIN HE SAID MY TEETH MUST BE LOOSE . NOT TRUE SO NOW I HAVE 4 LOOOSE THEETH IN MY LOWER FRONT . LATELY A UPPER REAR CAP FELL OFF AND THEY CHARGED ME TO RE CEMENT SO I CALLED AND THEY SAID THERE ARE NO WARRANTYS FOR CROWNS . IT WILL SOO BE ONE YEAR AND IM WORRIED HE WILL BREAK THE FRONT LOWER AND WANTS ME TO PAY FOR 4 NEW CAPS WHAT CAN I DO. IM AT THEIR MERCY I GAVE HIM OVER $ 25,.000.00 FOR THE JOB IN ADVANCE HELP

  12. Hi

    I had a crown but in at the front of my mouth about 15 years ago and it has just popped out today while i was flossing my teeth, i wasn wondering if thre is any chance if my dentist can glue it back on or will i need a new crown. The tooth below is quite black and i feel it fell out because there is not white clue attached to it.....do u think i will need extensive work done as i am worried it wont b able to be saved.

    Thanks

  13. i had a lot of work done on my mouth over the summer, i had two root canals done then i had to have both of my front teeth crown now by my teeth been growned down so much one of the crowns keep coming off, but i looked at it and it has nothing to hold on too. so what's the next step can this be fixed or have i gotten a bad crown job done this is bad.

  14. I am having a crown placed on 18 (back molar) and wanted to get your opinion on gold versus zirconium. I have very limited space and I am looking for longevity. Have you heard of zirconium causing issues with opposing teeth? Have you seen cases where gold becomes an allergy problem? Do you find one superior to the other in terms of staying on/bonding??
    Thank you

  15. My question right now is, can braces have caused a crown to move and be misaligned, or the tooth move and not the crown?

    And my second question is
    When you get braces put in,and you have a dead tooth witha crown, wouldn't you remove that tooth instead of a healthy tooth??

  16. Hello Tom, Not sure if you are still part of this blog but I wanted some advice regarding something really strange that happened to my crown post tooth that I had root canal done on many years ago...

    Recently this bottom tooth that is capped crowned post became loose, so I tried not to eat on that side before I got a dentist appointment, but i forgot and while I was eating a poptart today :) lol the whole entire thing just fell out of my mouth and into my hand!! the permanent crown, the post and some other rod like thing coming out of it!! Now I have a big large hole in my mouth with only a very tiny sharp piece of tooth in there! I am worried because it is saturday and dentists offices do not open till Monday, and I am hoping this is not considered an emergency! there is no blood, no pain or anything just an uncomfortable weird feeling in the gum pocket that looks like it goes so deep... I have rised it out with peroxide on and off all day today, and I have saved the whole permanent cap crown post rod thing, but I am not sure if the dentist will even be able to save this and put it back in my mouth... I mean what would this rod like screw thing even adhere to if there is only a very small tiny pointy piece of tooth left?

    I noticed that you responded to others that maybe getting some temperary cement to hold this crown cap thing in place would be appropriate thing to do... But my other question would then be, where does the rod screw like thing go into? that's what I cannot figure out... thanks for any advice you may have and I am lookng forward to your response!!

    I truly hope you still are part of this blog because I could really use your help and advice..

    Thank you so very much,

    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa - I'm still here! It looks like when that tooth had a root canal done on it, the metal rod was placed down into the root to help give the crown some extra traction to stay attached to the tooth. If you apply temporary cement, you can put it on the rod and there should be a small hole in the tooth where the rod will fit into if that makes sense. As long as you're not in pain, we usually will wait until after the weekend to take care of these sorts of things. If you have any questions or doubts, you can call your dentist - most have an answering service where you can still get in touch with the dentist to ask a question.

      I hope that helps and that you have as great of a weekend as you can considering the circumstances!

  17. Tom,

    I have something similar to the above post, but there doesn't appear to be any screw or hardware of any sort attached to the crown.

    I had a root canal on my back top molar many years ago, maybe 10 or so, it's been a long time...
    Last month I noticed that once in awhile I could feel a little movement back in there when I was eating. I currently don't have dental insurance, so I've been being very careful about what I eat and chewing on that side of my mouth :( Well, the inevitable happened, the crown came off yesterday. I've been thinking to myself that when it did come off I'd get the crown adhesive stuff from the drug store as a temporary fix.... Well, the crown isn't hollow, it looks like my tooth is in the crown (ewe), to be honest it's pretty unsightly. I just have a hole in my mouth, it's really hard for me to see what going on up there (it's 2nd to my last top molar), pretty hard to see.... Would it be unsafe to put the adhesive on the crown and the tooth-like looking stub that's coming out of it and just stick it in the hole?? I've been afraid to eat and have been rinsing with peroxide multiple times a day....

    I hope you have some advice. I know I need to see a dentist, wish I could afford it right now. Started a new job this week, awesome benefits kick in in 30days!

  18. I forgot to mention, thanks for making this blog!

    Unfortunately, I think the reason for my crown falling off is due to #1, the tooth underneath got decayed :(
    I know this because there's nothing there! It makes me feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it, I can't wait to have this fixed!

  19. Hi...my crown and post fell out. It was inserted in May of 2011. The first time it fell out was 2 months ago. I called my dentist only to find out that she has sold her practice. The new dentist said she is not responsible and re cemented it, charged me and said I really need to get a bridge. I decided it would be too expensive so opted for the re cement. Now two months later, it has fallen out again. First of all, isn't the new dentist responsible since she bought out the practice/? Second, why didn't it stay in for longer than 2 months? I. also wondering whether I should just keep getting it re cemented for $8 instead of paying thousands of dollars for a bridge. I have two other places in my mouth which need bridges also so at this point, it is financially impossible to keep up...Its like the cost of buying a new car! Thanks in advance for your response.

  20. hi. i have a silver cap on my top back molar and my bottom tooth started hurting but now my tooth under silver cap is hurting. so i was trying to test it out and see if it was hurting because its loose. but now its a little loose. should i try taking it completely off? BECAUSE im tired and want to sleep but im afraid i could swallow it in the middle of the night and theres no way to get ahold of a dentist at this time.
    THE PAIN IS UNBEARABLE
    PLEASE HELP

  21. What about a dentist DELIBERATELY having two crowns made for front teeth when the teeth are damaged, and loosse and he has been told three times by the patient that the head of the UCONN Dental Clinic stated that those teeth could NOT support crowns? Does that qualifoy as a reason?

  22. Hi, my dentist attempted to beat my bridge (4teeth, 2 crowns and 2 side false teeth) off with a rubber hammer. He hit the front crown 10 to 15 times. I felt the pressure all the way up to my eye and pain, even though he had given me a local anesthetic. The back crown had already came loose previously and his rationale for using this method was to break the cement loose on the front crown, put a filling in the back crown, and re cement the bridge. He had stated that the X-rays were showing small decay in the back tooth under the crown and none in the front crown. This did not work and he sent me home and said to eat sticky foods. After 1 week, the bridge was still on, so I returned to the dentist, where again he started beating the front crown. After 3 times, I told him to stop, I couldn't stand it. He then cut the bridge in half and the back crown bridge fell off. The tooth could not be repaired after all, so he pulled it. The front bridge that was left was now loose and starting to hurt, I told him, but he didn't answer. Two weeks later the front bridge fell off. I went back to the dentist and the tooth had fractured and was inside the crown. I asked him, did all that beating on that tooth make it fracture and he said no. I feel like he is not accepting the responsibility of fracturing my tooth and now it cannot be saved. I feel like a fool for ever allowing my dentist to perform such a barbaric method of bridge removal on me. The crown in front would have probably lasted several years longer if he had not beaten on it. Please, I would appreciate an answer, because I am seriously considering filling a complaint with the State Dental Board.

  23. A general dentist placed a crown on a lower bicuspid tooth. It had no contact with one of the teeth next to it and food got caught in the gap after every meal, which I flossed out. Also, there was some tenderness and redness in the gum around the crown. When I went back to the dentist, he said it was due to crown lengthening and it would heal in 6 to 12 months. The symptoms did not improve and In about 15 months the crown fell off. The dentist said he had no liability on it and refused a refund that I requested from him, as the crown had to be re-done. I had the exposed tooth evaluated by 2 separate dentists. None of them found a crown lengthening. A post was also not found. A build-up like material was stuck in the detached crown. My new dentist placed a post and build-up on the tooth and cemented a new crown. He said that the tooth was very weak now as the crown had to be re-done. An implant may be needed in the future.

    Is the dentist who did the first crown liable and should he refund me ? I am in California.

  24. i have a crown on my lower incisor with another crown second molar back and a bridge between. About three weeks ago I started having tooth pain in that area, that continued to worsen to the point of going to the ER. Was prescribed something for the pain and amoxicillan 875 bid. Three days ago while eating pound cake of all things, my crowns/bridge fell out. I no longer have dental insurance, live in a different state than before, am in severe pain and my jaw is swelling. Dont know what to do. feels like a nerve is exposed. The ground down teeth are both black in color. Is that the way they were prepared before crowning? HELP

    • Hi Tammy Gin,

      I got your message forwarded to me (and to others on the Oral Answers web site). I posted a message as well, under "Nel". I did not receive an answer from the dentist (Tom) yet. I read your post and found it very concerning. I am not a dentist but had a lot of dental work done. If the teeth under the bridge (which fell off) turned black, it does not sound good, especially as you have also pain. Could be a decay situation, possibly even infection in a root or roots, also a fracture, I speculate. Your teeth were not black most likely when the dentist placed a bridge on them, because teeth are "white", even if discolored ("yellowish"). Is there a community service in your area, where they may have a list of low cost or free dental service places ? Also, dental schools offer low cost or free dental work. You'll have to have it taken care of, the sooner, the better.

      I'm awaiting a response from Tom to my above placed message. He doesn't answer all messages.

  25. I have had a terrible sinus infection for almost 3 months. I am seeing an ENT and they keep treating me with antibiotics. When I finished this last one after about 3 days, my Eustachian tubes became quite swollen and my sinus area too. In addition, 3 of my crowns came off my teeth. I put them back on and went to the dentist. He couldn't get them off. Now a few days later my 4th bridge has come off (it's only 2 years old). Could it be the sinus infection putting pressure on these crowns? I just don't understand why all 4 of them are coming off?

  26. My problem is identical to 'Rochelles' experience!
    Except that I have a deep hole with like an 'upside down sharp cone' shape ALmost all the way around (hope that makes sense...
    feels like the tooth that is left had plenty of an edge to glue it to. I also have super sharp edges with a deep hole although I can feel the gum, wheres its healed up deep inside :/
    And of course no dentsl insurance anymore! :(

    • I'm sorry to hear that, Maggy. The dentist may have made the upside down cone shape to help the crown have more internal tooth structure to hang on to. Are you having any pain on the tooth? Any idea if it has a root canal? Good luck!

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Tom, Creator of Oral AnswersHi, I'm Tom. I recently graduated from dental school and am now a dentist in Bridgewater, Virginia. I started this blog to help people take better care of their teeth. You can learn more about me or ask me a question.

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