It’s 7 pm on a Sunday, and you’re sitting on your couch watching a movie with your significant other. It’s generally been a pretty lazy day, but you’re enjoying the time you’ve got. Then, you throw a handful of popcorn (with extra butter, of course) into your mouth and start chewing when you hear a crack, and you feel a stabbing pain shoot through your mouth.
Oh no! You’ve broken a tooth on an unpopped kernel!
And, what’s worse is that it’s a tooth that you’ve just had taken care of! You were just at the dentist’s a week ago!
You get up and walk to your bathroom mirror to take a look at what has happened. Upon looking, you realize that the temporary crown you just had put on is now broken in half.
What do you do?
A temporary crown is a device placed over your tooth to cover it until the permanent crown can be made. This helps prevent further damage to your tooth.
The most common reason for needing a temporary crown is after undergoing root canal treatment, where the inside of your tooth has been cleaned out to remove an infection or decay. Temporary crowns provide protection for this tooth that will soon need a permanent crown and prevent further damage.
So you’ve got yourself a broken temporary crown. Here are some steps that you can take to keep further damage from happening to your already sore mouth.
Often, this is the first reaction to have when you realize that you have a broken crown. Still, it’s essential to take some deep breaths and relax for a moment before deciding on your next move.
Doing this will help you think more clearly about the best course of action to take.
You can try many home remedies before you call the dentist (if your dentist isn’t currently available,) but be cautious about how you use them.
For example, putting oil of clove or some other kind of pain killer on your crown and taking some ibuprofen or acetaminophen might help temporarily ease the pain. Still, these aren’t long-term options that will fix your temporary crown.
After taking some time to relax and mitigate the pain, call your dentist and schedule an appointment for the soonest possible opening so that they can take a look at your crown and see precisely what happened.
The sooner you do this, the better.
If you can get in quickly, your dentist can replace your temporary crown before further damage is done.
If you wait too long or ignore the problem, more damage may be caused to your tooth and surrounding tissues.
It’s essential to keep in mind that if more damages are incurred to the tooth that once had a temporary crown, your dentist may end up having to pull the tooth altogether.
This will make it more difficult and costly to have a permanent fix for this tooth, sometimes meaning you would need a dental implant instead.
In some cases, your dentist may not have any openings for you to come in immediately. In this case, it’s okay to give yourself a little more time before making an appointment.
Depending on where your tooth broke, you might just need an over-the-counter tooth repair kit to patch up the temporary crown until you can see the dentist next week.
In this case, you will just follow the instructions on the kit. However, this fix is only temporary! Be sure to follow up with your dentist. Your dentist knows what they are doing and can address issues that you didn’t even know existed.
Suppose there isn’t anything causing immediate pain, meaning it doesn’t hurt when you brush your teeth or (carefully) chew food. In that case, it might be okay to continue life as usual until your appointment date. However, these are some things you may want to avoid, whether or not there is pain.
This includes nuts and ice, as well as other tough or sharp foods.
In some cases, you may want to avoid biting down on this tooth at all until your appointment date with the dentist.
This is a more favorable option than continuing to eat hard foods, which can be very painful and lead to further damage.
Avoiding these things will allow your temporary crown more time to heal before it is replaced with a permanent fixture.
Good examples of potentially dangerous remedies include using a drill to sand down the crown or using a nail file to do the same. Both sound like they could do the trick, but they come with risks that you should be well aware of before trying them out on your own.
You also don’t want to try and “fix” the temporary crown with super glue or any other adhesive. It may seem like the most viable solution to your problem, but it can actually lead to further damage. This is because glues will fill in any gaps present with adhesive, meaning there’s no space for the tooth or gum tissue to heal itself naturally. If this happens, you could potentially have a significant issue on your hands.
On top of these reasons, most powerful adhesives are toxic to humans.
This isn’t true.
If anything, this is the most dangerous mistake you can make because there’s nothing there to stop further damage from occurring or protect your tooth, your gums, or your jaw.
This means that if you chew down too hard on the crown, it can break off even more and could potentially end up leading to soft tissue infection. If this happens, you’ll quickly feel the effects of the infection which can include pain, swelling, or discoloration.
This could make it difficult to speak or eat for weeks at a time while you wait for the problem to resolve itself. Worst of all, if there is an infection in your mouth, most dental work will have to wait until the infection is cleared.
The sooner you do this, the better off you’ll be.
Your dentist will have various ways to deal with the temporary crown depending on how damaged it is and how long you’ve been dealing with it.
They will also recommend a more permanent solution or tell you how long it will take for the temporary crown to heal.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to tell how long the treatment will take until your dentist looks at your tooth and talks it through with you. This is why it’s so crucial that you visit them as soon as you realize there is a problem!
If You Are Experiencing a Broken Tooth Or Mouth Pain, Patient Empowered Dentistry can Have You Feeling Like Yourself in No Time
At Patient Empowered Dentistry, we understand that health emergencies happen to everyone!
That’s why we will never judge you on the current status of your teeth! Instead, we do everything within our power to make you feel comfortable while we perfect your smile!
It’s time to take some action and give us a call at (586) 771-6340!
We will be more than happy to arrange an appointment with you as soon as possible; so that we can determine the cause of your oral pain and help you on your way back to feeling like yourself once again.