When you have a root canal performed, a temporary crown is put over the incision site on your tooth to protect it while a permanent crown is being created for you. Here is what you need to do if for some reason the crown falls out before your permanent crown is created.
Clean The Crown
The first thing you need to do when you feel the crown in your mouth is spit the crown out into your hand; don't spit it into a sink, as you could lose your temporary crown. Then, fill a bowl with water and clean the crown. This will help prevent you from washing the crown down the drain. You don't want the crown sitting around with food debris on it.
Secure The Crown
When the crown has been cleaned, you need to put it somewhere safe where it will not get dirty or damaged. Place the temporary crown inside a zip lock bag or sealed container.
Contact Your Dentist
Now that the crown is clean and secure, you need to call your dentist. If your crown fell out outside of office hours, see if your dentist has a number for an emergency dentist or search for an emergency dentist. Make sure that when you call your dentist or emergency dentist that you inform them that the crown that fell out was temporary and was protecting the site of your recent root canal; without a crown in place, your root canal work could become infected. This information should help you get the closest appointment.
Refrain From Eating & Drinking
Finally, you should try your best to refrain from eating and drinking until you can get into your emergency dentist or regular dentist. If you eat in between the time that your temporary crown fell out and is put back in place, food debris could get into the opening created by your root canal. Additionally, bacteria from your mouth could also get into the opening as well. Either of these scenarios could lead to your root canal getting infected, which will then lead to a round of antibiotics and possibly further surgery.
If you absolutely have to eat because of another medical condition, try to keep the food on the other side of your mouth when you chew and choose food that is relatively easy to eat. Then, brush your teeth and gargle with mouthwash when you are done to ensure that you have done everything you can to prevent bacteria and food from getting into the site.