Lost Fillings and Crowns

Eating hard or chewy foods is a risky activity when you’ve got fillings or crowns. Though many people eat all kinds of food every day without incident, occasionally someone loses some dental work.

A lost filling or crown is a dental emergency. When you lose either of these protective measures, the decayed area of your tooth becomes re-exposed to bacteria, which means it can take on the very infection that fillings and crowns are meant to prevent. If you’ve lost a filling or crown and live near Seattle or Everett, WA, contact Pure Dental Arts today. Or read on to find out more.

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How can you tell if you’ve lost a crown or filling?

Sometimes it will be obvious (you might feel the crown pop off in your mouth, for example). If you feel a small, hard object in your mouth, try to gently remove it.

But you might not notice right away. People have been known to swallow fillings without realizing it.

When this happens, you might start experiencing tooth pain, especially when you bite down on something. It’s also common to experience hot and cold sensitivity when the lost filling or crown results in an exposed tooth root. Some patients experience constant pain in the affected area.

What should you do if you’ve lost a crown or filling?

While you wait to see a dentist you can do a few things to care for your tooth.

If you’ve managed to preserve the crown, pull it out and disinfect it. From there, you can use an over-the-counter dental cement to press the crown gently back into place. If it’s a lost filling you can place a little dental wax into the hole.

You may take over-the-counter pain relievers for any pain. You can also numb the gum with a dab of clove oil.

These are temporary fixes, of course.  You’ll want to see a dentist right away. 

How does a dentist treat a lost filling or crown?

We will clean and disinfect the affected area. Then we will try either to save the old filling or crown, or fit you with a new one.

This is a relatively common problem. No crown or filling is meant to last forever. They have about a 15-year lifespan, on average.

If you know your crown or filling is reaching its expiration date it’s not a bad idea to draw it to our attention at the next appointment so you can avoid getting surprised by a sudden loss. 

How much does it cost to fix a lost filling or lost crown?

If you don’t need a full replacement, usually we can fix your filling or crown for less than $300. If you need a new one, the price can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a filling, to around $1000 for a new crown.

If you don’t have insurance, our dental membership program can help you save 20% to 50% of the cost.

If you think you’ve lost a filling or crown, contact Pure Dental Arts to schedule an appointment today at our Seattle office or our Everett, WA office.