When you take dental care into your own hands, the result is unnecessary pain and suffering followed by a dent to your wallet. Many times, what could have easily been taken care of in one appointment may now require several visits. Multiple visits to the dentist generally results in more time off work, not to mention difficulty eating, trouble sleeping and general irritability from a toothache or mouth pain.
According to Dr. Sandy Venditti, dentist and author of ʺPearls of Wisdom,ʺ she has seen several examples of patients attempting to solve their own dental emergencies. One frightening example is of a patient who attempted to extract his own tooth with a pair of pliers. He downed a few shots of whiskey and decided to rip the tooth out himself. The patient fractured the tooth below the gum line and was in more pain than when he started.
What could have been a simple extraction turned into a longer more complicated expensive surgical procedure. Also, his healing time was longer because of the more extensive surgery. Venditti notes that the use of unsterile pliers could have easily introduced bacteria into his system.
From time to time, crowns become loose and come off. This can be embarrassing especially if you are out in public. If it's a front tooth, Venditti recommends adding a little bit of toothpaste or denture adhesive to the inside and re-cement it back in place until you can see your dentist. If the crown is not properly positioned back in the mouth, it will alter your bite making it difficult and often painful to chew. It may even result in jaw joint pain, inadvertent clenching or grinding.
Whatever you do, do NOT use super-glue! Super-glue irritates the tooth and gums resulting in sensitivity or even a throbbing toothache. There may be some tooth decay near the margins of the crown which resulted in the crown falling off. Re-cementing the crown and not taking care of the tooth decay will result in sensitivity to hot or cold and may even balloon into a throbbing toothache. So instead of just needing a new crown, you may now need a root canal.