Temporary Crown Fell Off and I Swallowed It

Updated: Sep 30

If you accidentally swallowed your temporary crown in the middle of a meal, you will be okay but you should get a new one by your dentist. We will go over why you shouldn't panic and what's the worse that can happen.



You'll be fine even after swallowing a fallen off temporary crown

If you happen to swallow the temporary crown while eating, you may be panicking and wondering if you need emergency surgery to get it back out. The first thing you need to do is calm down because everything is going to be fine and you don't need surgery.


In fact the only thing you need to do is just let your dentist know that it happened because what will ultimately happen is that you'll just defecate or poop the temporary back out. You may dig through your poop to find it but we would recommend against doing so unless you like to do it... Just have faith that it will come out eventually in the next day or two.


If you were worried, just remember all the things that you use to swallow as a kid. We use to swallow gum all the time and various other earthly substances from the back yard. What goes in the mouth will eventually come back out the other end. If you've survived through childhood, you'll survive through a swallowed temporary crown.



What swallowed crowns look like on x-rays

If that is not enough to convince you, here is an x-ray of a patient who swallowed a four unit dental bridge. What that means is, it is not a single crown but FOUR CROWNS attached to each other and they're made of porcelain.

swallowed dental bridge
  • Do you see that long white metal piece in the ribs? That's the dental bridge.


The temporary crown is made of acrylic just like the fake finger nails but a permanent bridge is made of porcelain and metal. In comparison, the bridge is a lot more serious.


However, the patient who swallowed the fallen off dental bridge did not require any surgery. They merely just had to wait to poop it back out. If this patient is fine, you will be absolutely okay with swallowing a single temporary crown.


Another important point to note is that temporary crowns don't show up very well on x-rays. They're a lot more translucent because they're not as solid as the metal ones. Thus, they're fairly difficult to detect on an x-ray.


Here is an x-ray of a temporary crown:


temporary crown x-ray

The temporary crown is actually translucent. The only thing you see is the GLUE from the temporary.



What's the worse that can happen?

Rather than swallowing the temporary crown that fell off, the worse that can happen is if your tooth hurts afterwards. If the temporary was protecting a tooth that was alive and never had a root canal, it will be sensitive without the temporary on.


Since the temporary is now in your stomach, you can't try to glue it back on at home. Your only open to relieve the tooth pain would be to get an emergency appointment with your dentist to have a new one made. Hopefully you can get an appointment the same day.



The Verdict

If you happen to swallow your temporary crown that fell off, you should try to get an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. It is so they can make you a new one in case your tooth hurts without the temporary on.


You shouldn't worry so much about swallowing the temporary because you'll eventually just poop it back out. People have swallowed far worse things in life and they mostly ended up okay with the need for emergency stomach surgery. Nonetheless, you should still inform your dentist and let them know what happened!


However, if you're in need of emergency dental services in Long Island City, our office will be more than happy to assist you. We're located in NYC so if you're in the tristate area, swing on by.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!