Ask The Dentist – DIY Dentistry

Ask The Dentist – DIY Dentistry

Why dental treatment is best left to the professionals.

Today’s question comes from an Ipswich patient who has taken it into their own hands to ‘restore’ a dental crown that became detached. We look at why such attempts will go badly wrong!

Q. I have just come back from a holiday abroad, and during this time, a dental crown that I had fitted some time ago, came off. I’m nervous of dentists at the best of times, so I didn’t really want to use one I didn’t know and where language barriers may have been a problem. Instead, I found a shop that sold superglue and used this to re-attach the crown. It is still in place and feels fine, but a friend has, in no uncertain terms, told me that I really shouldn’t have done this and I should get it looked at. What do you think?

Thanks for your question and I hope your dental mishap didn’t spoil the holiday. I’m pleased that you have contacted us as your friend is absolutely correct, and, whilst I understand why you did it, it really wasn’t a good idea! I would recommend that you come to see us at our Ipswich dental surgery as soon as possible please.

The fact is that, whilst superglue will hold your tooth firmly in place for a while, this type of adhesive contains chemicals which are harmful to the teeth. The crown itself is non porous, but the natural part of your remaining tooth is, and may absorb these chemicals causing decay and other problems; possibly even compromising the root of the tooth.

Any decay caused to the natural tooth will soon mean that the crown cannot bond to it well and will become detached again. Because any decay will need to be removed, a new crown will need to be made to ensure a correct fit, creating more expense for you. Whilst we are on this subject; for other Ipswich patients of the Foxhall Dental Practice, it is worth noting that the same applies if a dental veneer becomes detached. Again, please contact us straight away if it does, and allow us to re-attach it correctly using a dental adhesive.

DIY does have a role to play in a patient’s oral health though, and especially so in the area of preventative care. Whilst our dental team have a wide range of skills and can perform sophisticated procedures such as root canal treatment and dental implants, the truth is that we would rather not have to do this, and would prefer patients to take good care of their teeth to help avoid invasive treatment being necessary.

Good brushing with a quality toothpaste and brush, along with flossing and regular dental checks at our Ipswich practice will go a long way to keeping your mouth healthy.

As for the re-attached crown, please see us as soon as you can to prevent any further damage to your tooth. Simply call the Foxhall Dental Practice today on 01473 258396 for a speedy appointment.