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.
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.