I’m on vacation and a crown just fell off of my back tooth. Can I just Super Glue it back on?
Super Glue has thousands of uses. It’s been used medically in place of sutures and by detectives to lift fingerprints. It’s been used around the house for repairs, for arts and crafts and to stop runs in stockings. It’s the subject of many urban legends and has been used in practical jokes. It has also been used inappropriately by people for purposes of revenge, used accidentally instead of eye drops and, yes, many people have mistakenly, though with pure intentions, glued their dental crowns back on with it.
It is important to have your crown cemented back on soon because your tooth needs protection and needs the crown in place to help maintain the proper alignment of your teeth. Leaving it off can damage the tooth itself, leave it subject to breakage and/or nerve injury and will allow your teeth to shift so that the old crown will no longer fit.
Super Glue is not a good choice because it’s permanent. Should you glue it on and the positioning is even slightly off, you can damage your tooth, cause bite problems, jaw pain and more, plus the tooth is more susceptible to decay. At this point, you don’t know why the crown came off. It could be simply that the cement didn’t hold, but there’s also a chance that there’s decay. This is hard to detect even with an x-ray if the crown has metal in it. Again, Super Glue is intended to be used as a permanent hold, which means that if your dentist tries to remove it because there’s a problem with it, it’s generally not an easy thing to do. For laughs, you can look up a video circulating online of body builders trying to open a bottle of Gatorade that’s been Super Glued shut. In that context, it’s mildly amusing, but in the dental chair, the bond of Super Glue is not so funny. You should also keep in mind that if the crown doesn’t come off easily, you’re subjecting yourself to traumatizing the tooth or breaking it.
Your best bet is to get into an emergency dentist within the next couple of days, to have the tooth examined and the crown properly cemented. While you wait for your appointment, keep the crown in place. You can use items found in the dental care aisle of most stores, such as temporary tooth filling material or denture adhesive. In the meantime, treat the tooth and that whole side of your mouth with care. The crown won’t stay put for long, but that’s a good thing. It will allow the dentist to repair it with much more ease.
This blog is sponsored by Elgin Dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.