Loose crown? Broken tooth or denture? Why not just use superglue? Beats going to the dentist and spending on a dental procedure.
Well… That’s what many people think anyway. This is a very common problem that dentists see today- people thinking that they can save some time and money by using super glue to try and repair the problem. Especially when you have all kinds of other problems to think about. You have all kinds of needs to see to, mortgage or rent due, the electric bill to pay, the kids’ allowance, groceries… the list goes on. You don’t want to have to add dental expenses to that.
It’s so tempting to just take your chances with superglue. It doesn’t help that you can visit YouTube and find thousands of videos on do-it-yourself fixes when it comes to your teeth ranging from closing a gap between teeth and making your own bridges.
However, what time and money you might save with this seemingly quick and easy solution are not worth the slew of problems and side effects that can come with it, especially if you make a mistake. It can invite disaster and can leave your teeth a wreck. It might actually cost you more in the long run.
That said, after we discuss exactly why you should not use superglue to repair your dentures we will also discuss some options which you CAN use if visiting the dentist is simply not an option.
Reasons not to use Superglue
Superglue is a term that is used to refer to cyanoacrylate adhesives. They are known under trade names like Super Glue, Krazy Glue, and a lot more. Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t use it:
- Superglues are toxic
They release a small amount of fumes when used. Most people have no problem with that, but some people can have a serious reaction to the fumes- like a skin or an asthmatic reaction.
- Superglues bond instantly
A lot of things can go wrong. You can accidentally glue your restoration to your finger, your finger to one of your teeth, possibly even your lips, cheeks, or tongue. You can even glue your tongue to your teeth.
Though superglue will not stick to any mucus membranes for long because they’re constantly secreting moisture, it’s still something you don’t want to experience.
- Superglues can have serious reactions with natural fibers
An example of natural fiber is cotton. Contact with these fibers can trigger a release of even more toxic fumes. Sometimes it can even cause spontaneous combustion.
What can go wrong?
Though using superglue can be a temporary or short-term fix at best, lasting
for several days to several weeks at a time before having to be redone, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
In one case, a British woman constantly used superglue to fix her teeth instead of going to see a dentist. She ended up needing dental implants to replace all her teeth. The dentists who finally treated her said she lost a huge percentage of the bone along her top jaw.
Though the above is an example of a worst-case scenario, here are some other side effects and things that can go wrong:
- Rough and sharp edges
When superglue dries, it becomes very hard. The tendency is that it will dry rough and have sharp edges that may very well injure your inner cheeks, gums, or tongue.
- Irritation of the gums
If you get superglue too close to your gum line, it will irritate the gums just like plaque does.
- Wrong placement
This can result in an incorrect bite where you hit more on the tooth you “repaired” when you bite down. This will feel uncomfortable and can cause you unnecessary pain.
- Dentin tubule death
Superglue produces an exothermic reaction when it dries and sets. This is not good news for the dentin tubules in your teeth. This heat can very well cause the death of these dentin tubules
- Root canal or extraction
Even if you do manage to “fix” your tooth with superglue, it will no longer be as strong as your other teeth and you should not expect to bite down normally on it.
Wrong placement or positioning can cause the tooth to eventually break and the death of dentin tubules will most likely result in a root canal or extraction.
There will be instances when you won’t have enough time to schedule an appointment with your dentist for your dental repair. There are some other things you can use to glue your crown, tooth, or denture back together. None of these are particularly recommended for a real solution, but these are much safer alternatives to using superglue.
These adhesives are not really very strong, but they are definitely non-toxic because they are made for use in your mouth. They don’t have a lot of sticking power because their intended use is to help in maintaining suction under a denture.
- OTC Dental Cement
Some dental cements can be purchased over the counter. These are a much better choice for temporary repairs and holding loosened restorations and broken tooth parts in place. It has decent sticking power, is somewhat easy to apply, and it’s also non-toxic.
The success of using this material depends on the surface area that you will apply the cement on and getting the restoration seated properly. It is very difficult to accomplish the latter and may depend on the type of restoration you are trying to repair.
These alternatives are temporary and a short-term solution only. The best solution for fixing a broken tooth, veneer, denture, or restoration is to visit your dentist for a professional fix.
When visiting the dentist for a repair is not an option
If visiting a dentist is simply not an option for you at this time or if you want to prepare an ’emergency plan’ in case your only set of dentures becomes damaged (rather than a veneer or a crown), then the next best thing that you can do is to use a denture repair kit. These kits are going to employ adhesives that are non-toxic and while the repair is not going to be as durable as your dentist can do and there is no guarantee on proper alignment (a lot is going to depend on you) they are the next best option available if you cannot see the dentist.
What are the best denture repair kits?
We realize that there are scenarios where you might not be able to see a dentist right away. While we recommend going to the dentist for denture repairs to avoid financial and oral health
“If you absolutely must rely on a kit then these are the best options“
issues that can arise from improper repair, if you absolutely must rely on a kit then these are the best options, but we cannot stress this point enough: If you attempt to repair your dentures on your own then your dentist may not be able to repair them properly later and you might have to get a complete replacement. So use these when there is simply no other option.
Temptooth is a great option if you need to replace one individual tooth. Safe for oral use, it comes with polymer beads and instructions for replacing s single lost tooth, as well as a link that can take you to a video on how to use the product. Everything you need to replace up to 10 teeth from your dentures is included so this is a handy little kit to keep around for emergencies.
Sometimes it is not cracks or tooth replacement that is the concern, but rather the fit of your dentures. Over time your dentures can become loose and at this point you will want to go to your dentist for a refitting. If you need a temporary solution, DOC Reline kit can help you when it comes to making minor fit adjustments.
Repairing loose or cracked teeth for acrylic dentures – DOC Repair-It
If you need to mend some cracks, deal with loosened teeth, or fix complete breaks then the DOC Repair-it is a popular go-to option. The kit comes with everything that you need in order to effect 3 repairs to your dentures. This is accomplished by mixing the included powder with the liquid in the package so that you can create a dental repair paste that is both safe and effective. While intended only as a temporary fix, this should give you enough time to get to that dental appointment if it is not too far in the future.
What if my dentures have been completely destroyed?
If your dentures have been completely destroyed or if you are going on a long camping trip, for instance, and simply wish to be prepared, Lang offers a ‘duplicator flask’ that can completely recreate a set of dentures based on a mold that you take yourself of your own teeth. While this is not optimal, of course, if you absolutely cannot reach a dentist this is one way to completely recreate a set of dentures that you can use in the meantime. The Lang Dental Denture duplicator flask contains everything you need to make the mold, the teeth, and the palate component so if you need a completely new set as soon as possible or simply want to prepare for the worst then this is a viable option.
What can I do to care for my dentures to minimize issues?
The best option of all is going to be prevention and there are a few things that you will want to make sure that you are doing in order to extend the life of your dentures as much as possible. Here are some tips to help you to do exactly that.
- Spares are a good idea – Invest in a second pair of dentures, this way if something happens to the first you can put aside the damaged ones and use your spares while getting the others repaired professionally.
- Give them some time off – Remove them for 6-8 hours per day (if you cannot at night) when they are not needed. Dentures degrade with time and use so if you don’t need them, extend their durability by giving them a break.
- Keep them clean – Clean your dentures carefully and thoroughly daily. Like your regular teeth, they can acquire bacteria and stains so maintenance of your dentures is important.
- Don’t clean them over hard surfaces – Avoid surprise cracking or breaks by always cleaning your dentures over a soft surface like a towel or an old blanket.
- Maintain a perfect fit – Visit the dentist for realignment at the first signs of a fit becoming loose. Ill-fitting dentures can irritate your mouth, for one thing, and misalignment can lead to breaks or cracking as well when you are using them. Don’t give problems time to develop… be vigilant about a proper fit.
Some final words
In this article we have discussed why you should not repair your dentures with superglue. While it seems an easy fix, it is toxic, and you can cause more problems in the future. We have also advised of safer alternatives if a dentist is absolutely not a possibility but if you don’t need a repair right away then we hope you will take the preventative measures that we have outlined before this articles conclusion. Take good care of your smile!