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Dental Crowns

Why Crown Fell Off
©Alex Mit/

Have 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?

Gold Crown Fell OffIf 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.


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!

Best Temporary Crown Cement and Way to Recement Crowns

Having a crown come off of your tooth can be very frustrating.  Sometimes you just can’t get into the dentist right away because you’re too busy, you’re on vacation, or your dentist can’t fit you in very quickly.  Some dentists might recommend that you use a temporary crown cement until you can be seen at the dental office.

Temporary Crown Cements

If your dentist doesn’t suggest a brand name, how do you know which temporary crown cement to use?  There are many different types on the market.  I I decided to provide you with some guidance by reading over the reviews on three of the most popular products for re-cementing your crowns that have fallen off: Recapit, Temparin, and Dentemp.

Below the reviews, you’ll find a few quick tips on how to make your temporary crown cement work.

Recapit Temporary Crown Cement Review

Recapit Temporary Crown CementRecapit is available in a multi-use vial or in a stay-fresh tube.

It is a one-step cement, meaning that you don’t have to mix anything together.  All  you have to do is scoop it out and use it to glue your crown back on.

Unlike the other two main temporary cements, Recapit is made only to be used to recement crowns.  Recapit should not be used to replace a lost filling.

The reviews on Amazon range from good to bad.  Many people report that it doesn’t hold their crown on.  One person said that their crown fell off when they sneezed.

Another reviewer who gave Recapit 5 stars said, “I placed the crown back into place and there it stayed for 16 days. Even the dentist was impressed with how well it was holding. I used some sense and tried to keep hard and sticky foods away from this crown. However, I did still chew lightly on it. While I do not expect that you could chew gum or apply heavy pressure to a tooth being help in place with Recapit, it worked perfectly well in my application.”

Temparin Temporary Crown Cement Review

Temparin Temporary Crown CementTemparin temporary crown cement is available in a multi-use vial as well.  Just like Recapit, Temparin is a one-step cement which means that you won’t need to mix anything.

On Temparin’s Amazon review page, it only earned 1 5-star review and that was from somebody that used it to replace a filling, not to re-cement a crown.

S. Kennedy, who not only called the Temparin garbage, but worthless garbage had this to say:

“I lost a temporary crown and thought Dentek Temparin might spare me the extra trip to the dentist. Turns out I would have been better off chewing up the five dollars and using that to hold the crown in place. The Temporin lasted no longer than three hours.”

Dentek has come out with an updated formula that they claim is now 10x stronger.  It is pictured in the composite photo at the top of this article and is called Temparin MAX Hold.

Dentemp Temporary Crown Cement Review

Dentemp One Step Temporary Crown CementDentemp Temporary Crown Cement comes in a few different versions:

1 – Dentemp One Step (pictured)
2 – Dentemp One Step Maximum Strength
3 – Dentemp Original

Interestingly, the Dentemp One Step seems to have some of the worst reviews while the Dentemp One Step Maxium Strength and Dentemp Original have some of the best reviews.

I noticed that many people complained on the Dentemp One Step reviews that they had changed their formula and what was once a 5-star product is now a 1-star product.  Dentemp Original seems to be the answer to that reviewer, but the one person who reviewed it appears to have been using it to replace a filling, not re-cement a crown.

Dentemp One Step Maximum Strength seems to be Dentemp’s best product when it comes to re-cementing a loose crown.  On the Dentemp One Step Maximum Strength review page, I found the following review by a verified Amazon purchaser:

“I have used this product and was very satisfied with the results. If there is a loose cap that needs to be repaired and a dental appointment is weeks off, don’t fear this product will see you through.”

People also note that Dentemp O.S. Maximum Strength seems to harden very fast, so you may want to try a practice run first to see how fast you need to work to get your crown glued back on.

What’s the Best Way to Re-Cement a Crown When It Falls Off?

The number one piece of advice that I can give you is to follow the directions exactly as written.

Here’s a few other tips that will get your crown to stay glued on tight until you can get in to see your dentist:

  • Clean out the crown.  The crown probably has some old glue/cement stuck inside of it.  It is important that the inside be clean and dry so that the new cement can attach to the crown and hold it to your tooth.
  • Make sure the tooth is clean and dry.  If you can, blow it dry.  Even a little bit of water can cause the cement to not work well.
  • Before cementing it back on your tooth, you might want to make sure that the crown fits evenly on your tooth.  If it doesn’t, there may be some old cement on the tooth or inside of the crown.
  • Some people report that if you cement it just before going to bed, it will form a stronger bond as you won’t be using it while you sleep.  This may not work too well if you know that you grind your teeth at night!


Based on the reviews (note that they are unscientific), it appears that Dentemp O.S. Maximum Strength is the best cement for recementing your crown, followed by Recapit and Temparin.


Remember that before attempting to re-cement your crown you should talk to your dentist to make sure that it is appropriate.  Make sure that you read all package inserts to understand how to use the product, what specific risks are present with use of the product and how to minimize those risks.

If your crown is on a back tooth or upper tooth, know that there is a higher risk of you swallowing or aspirating (breathing in) your crown.  If you have any doubts about whether or not you can get your crown re-cemented, you should talk to your dentist to see what other options are available.

Cavity Under a Dental Crown

A reader recently asked me if it was possible to get a cavity on a tooth once it has been crowned.  Although it seems logical that a crown covering the tooth would prevent this, that is not the case.  A tooth with a crown can get a cavity!

Gold Dental Crown

Can You Get a Cavity on a Tooth With a Crown?

When a dentist makes a crown for you, he or she will remove all of the tooth decay or cavity that was present.  The dentist then cuts around the whole tooth so that a crown can fit over the remaining tooth structure and still appear to be a normal-sized tooth.  The crown/tooth interface is usually right around the gum-line.

That means that you still have tooth structure in your mouth that is below the crown.  If you aren’t brushing and flossing to remove the plaque that lives under the gum-line, you can get another cavity on the same tooth.

What Happens When You Get a Cavity on a Tooth With a Crown?

When you get a cavity on a tooth with a crown, there are a few things that can happen:

1 – If the cavity goes too close to the pulp, you may have to have a root canal done if you haven’t had one yet.
2 – You may need a procedure done known as crown lengthening. Crown lengthening means taking away some of the bone that supports your tooth so that there is room for the dentist to remove all of the cavity and still prepare the tooth for a crown.
3 – You may have to have the tooth pulled if the decay has spread too far into the tooth.
4 – If you keep the tooth, you will most likely need a new crown made.

The procedures listed abovet are all quite costly (aside from pulling the tooth.) Hopefully that will motivate you to keep your crowned teeth clean and in pristine condition!


Do you have any questions, comments, or experiences to share about crowned teeth and tooth decay?  Leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Dental Crown Procedure: What Is a Dental Crown?

Have you ever been unable to fall asleep at night, staring at the ceiling and wondering what a dental crown was?  Maybe you’ve wondered what the difference between a crown and a cap was.  If so, this one’s for you!

Some teeth develop an unstable structure as a result of cavities or trauma (such as cracking a tooth.)  When a tooth has become broken down and is basically falling apart, sometimes a filling just won’t work.  Teeth that are broken down often need to get crowned or capped.

What’s the Difference Between Dental Crowns and Caps?

There really isn’t a difference between a crown or a cap.  A cap is simply a less technical name for a crown, kind of like chompers is a less technical name for teeth!

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is like a glove that covers the tooth and holds it together, protecting it from further damage.

In order for a tooth to get a crown, the dentist will need to shave it down on all sides, take an impression of your teeth, send the impression to a lab, and have them make the crown.  In the meantime, the dentist will send you away with a temporary crown to wear.

That’s a simple written definition of a crown, but pictures are probably a lot easier to understand.  A little over a year ago, I was taking the first of three classes in making crowns and bridges.

Below you’ll find the crown I cut and the temporary crown I made for my first practical exam in that course.

What a Dental Crown Looks Like

Here’s what the tooth looks like before getting a crown.  I tried to photo-shop in a couple of cavities.  As you can see, the tooth is practically begging for a crown.

Dental Crown Tooth Before Being Prepared for Crown

Below, you can see what the tooth looks like after preparing it for a crown.  I cut around the whole buy xanax cheap tooth.  I had to cut away a specific amount of tooth (measured in tenths of a millimeter!) in order to do well on the practical exam.

Tooth Prepared for Dental Crown Cap

Below is the same tooth after being prepared.  This is what it looks like from the tongue side of the mouth.

Dental Crown Tooth Prepared Tongue Side View

In the picture below, you’ll see what the temporary crown looks like.

Tooth with a Temporary Crown

In case you are concerned about the lovely green color of this temporary crown, it is dyed that color for a purpose.  Our instructors have the students dye their crowns a different color each year to prevent upperclassmen from handing their old work down to classes below them.   Your temporary crown will match the color of your teeth, although it will not be quite as high-quality as the permanent crown since it is only intended to be used for a short period of time.

The next step would be to take an impression, pour it up in plaster and send that model off to the lab to have a permanent crown made.  I didn’t feel like footing the lab bill so that my plastic teeth could have a real crown, so there are no pictures of the permanent crown here.

Update: Extra Images of What a Dental Crown Is

Update 9/8/14: Now that I’m out of dental school I’m trying to spruce up the site a little more.  Here’s a few more images to demonstrate what happens when you get a dental crown:

Dental Crown Getting Cut

Dental crown getting tried on tooth and then cemented:

Dental Crown Getting Seated and Cemented


In summary, a crown simply covers the surface of the tooth to help protect it from further damage.

I hope that better explains to you what a dental crown is.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave them below in the comments section.  Thanks for reading!

Newer stock images of crowns ©Alex Mit/

Most Likely Places to Get a Cavity

Imagine you are in the dental office and the dentist is showing you on a screen where in your mouth you are most likely to get cavities, much like in the picture below.

Where Cavities Occur on TeethWouldn’t that advice be invaluable?  It would probably help you know where to concentrate when you brush.

Although you’re not sitting in my dental chair, I can still tell you in general the six most common places where you’re most likely to get a cavity.

Six Common Places Where You Can Get Cavities/Dental Decay

1 – In the grooves on the chewing surface of your back teeth. There are many grooves that run in the teeth.  These are called fissures.  There are also pits.  Some molar teeth have pits on the side of them that commonly get cavities.  You can find these pits on the tongue side of your upper molars and on the cheek side of your lower molars.

2 – In between your teeth. In a normal mouth, all the teeth touch each other on each side except for the ones all the way in the back.  In the area between the teeth, it is hard to fit a toothbrush and easy for plaque to grow and create a cavity, especially if you’re not flossing daily!

3 – At the margins of fillings, crowns, bridges, and other dental work.  Sometimes the tooth/restoration interface isn’t as smooth as we’d like it to be.  This area between the restoration and the tooth is an easy place for plaque to grow.  White fillings don’t last as long as silver fillings, so if you want a long-lasting filling, ask your dentist if you can have a silver amalgam filling.

4 – On the tooth just above the gumline. This is a common place for cavities.  I have seen it a lot in people who drink lots of energy drinks and soda pop.  It is believed that acids can pool around the gumline and attack the teeth, creating a cavity.

Here’s a list of nine drinks that can dissolve your teeth if you drink them frequently!

5 – On the roots of teeth. When you have periodontal disease (commonly known as gum disease — a leading cause of tooth loss), the bone and gums that surround the teeth gradually fall down.  This exposes the root surface of the teeth.  The root surface is much softer than the hard enamel shell that encases the tops of our teeth.  It is much easier for cavities to occur on the root surface, which is why it’s important to catch periodontal disease in its initial phases and treat it.

6 – Teeth that are right next to a partial denture. It is easy for food to get trapped between a partial denture and the natural teeth.  Plus, there’s usually a metal appliance that fits around the tooth making it easy for plaque to grow.  If you have a partial denture, ask your dentist or denal hygienist for methods to help you keep your remaining teeth healthy.  They can come up with an oral hygiene program tailor-made for you.


Hopefully that gives you some new ideas on how you can better take care of your teeth.  Make sure you’re brushing the grooves and pits of your teeth and flossing to get between them.  If you find that when you floss around a filling, you can’t get the floss to go down or come back up from between the tooth, you should go visit your dentist so that he or she can fix the filling so you don’t get a new cavity around it.

Do you have any questions or comments about how and where cavities occur?  Type them below in the comments section.  Even if you have a story to share about your cavity, go ahead and leave it below in the comments.  Thanks for reading!

Reasons Dentists Take Impressions of Your Teeth
©Milos Jubicic/

As I’ve been assisting the third and fourth-year dental students in the clinic over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity of taking quite a few impressions on many different patients.

Taking an Alginate Dental Impression - Photo Courtesy of SuperWebDeveloperI think the whole impression and plaster pouring ordeal is kind of interesting.  However, many students and patients don’t seem to love it. The whole process is a bit messy.  Inevitably, the patient needs help removing the impression material that got stuck on his or her face.  Also, it leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Oddly enough, it doesn’t appear as though the man to the left is having the time of his life while his impression is being taken. So why do we take those dental impressions anyways?

Why Dentists Need to Take Impressions of Your Mouth

A dentist might need an impression of your teeth for many reasons.  A few of the more common reasons are:

Crown Fell off Tooth
©Photo Fun/

A few years ago, I was hanging out with one of my friends.  He was biting into a sandwich and his crown came out of his mouth stuck in a piece of bread.  Being a big fan of dentists, I went to the dentist with him that same day and watched as the dentist cemented the crown back into his mouth.

What to do When Your Dental Crown Falls OffCrown Unfortunately, not everyone can make it to the dentist right after their crown falls off.

Hopefully, if you do end up getting a crown in your life, it won’t fall off.  However, if it does, here’s what you should do.

What to do When a Crown Comes off of Your Tooth

First of all, get the crown out of your mouth.  You don’t want to risk swallowing it or accidentally breathing it in.  If you swallow it, it will probably pass without a problem, but after it’s been through your digestive system you probably don’t want it back in your mouth!  If you end up accidentally breathing it in, it could become infected.

Call your dentist and schedule an appointment.  Let the office staff know that your crown came off.  Give them as much details as you can.  They should try to fit you in as soon as possible (within a few days at most.)

Next, examine the crown and look in your mouth.  If your tooth fractured and is inside the crown, you will have to see your dentist before anything can be done.  If the crown looks hollow or if it is not hollow but there is a small metal rod coming out of it (about the width of a paper clip), then you should be able to temporarily cement it back into your mouth before seeing a dentist to get it permanently cemented.  Before proceeding, check with your dentist to see if it will be alright if you use temporary cement from the drugstore to temporarily put your crown back on.

Take a toothbrush and gently clean off the crown and the tooth inside your mouth where the crown was located.  After cleaning, make sure that the crown and the tooth are as dry as you can get them.

Recapit Dental Crown Cement
Recapit Dental Crown Cement

Next,  you will need to have some temporary crown cement which you can purchase at most any pharmacy.  A popular brand name of this cement is Recapit Temporary Crown Cement, which is a temporary glue that will hold your crown onto its underlying tooth structure until you can get in to see a dentist.

Remember to be careful and not chew too hard on the crown that you have re-cemented.  Don’t chew sticky foods like caramel or taffy.  The temporary cement is much weaker than the permanent cement that the dentist initially used.

Update: I have written an article that talks about the different temporary crown cements, which ones have the best reviews, and also gives some tips on the best way to re-cement your crown. You can read it at Which Temporary Crown Cement is the Best?

See Your Dentist To Permanently Cement the Loose Crown

You need to make sure that you go to your dentist so he or she can permanently cement your crown back to its underlying tooth structure.  The crown is still slightly loose, temporary cement really is temporary.

Also, after the crown came off, the underlying tooth structure was exposed to the bacteria in your mouth.  When you cemented the tooth back on, you cemented bacteria between your tooth and the crown.  Your dentist will be able to properly disinfect the area before permanently re-cementing your crown.


If your crown does fall off, remember that you need to get to your dentist as soon as possible.  Don’t put it back on and then neglect going to visit your dentist.  You could infect the tooth and in the worst case scenario you may need to have the tooth extracted a few years down the line.

If your temporary crown comes off, you can re-cement it according to the above procedure.  Your dentist will probably still have you come in for your originally scheduled appointment to have your permanent crown cemented.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks for reading!