Home care for tooth awaiting its coronation?
January 9, 2013 1:55 PM Subscribe
So, I managed to break a tooth last week (whilst attempting to chew a cold gummy licorice candy that had the approximate texture of partially-cured epoxy). Saw dentist this morning, who wants to install a crown. What, if anything, can I do between now and Coronation Day, as it'll likely be at least eight weeks out?
posted by aecorwin to health & fitness (8 answers total)
Some additional situation-specific details: the tooth that broke had already undergone root-canal treatment about 11 years ago. For whatever reason the dentist I had at the time back then installed a small porcelain inlay rather than a true crown. The unfortunate licorice-borne breakage occurred (as near as my current dentist can tell) due to "shearing force" which tore away some of the tooth structure around the inlay and in doing so fractured the tooth up to the gumline.
All that said, while it is certainly annoying having a jagged hole in my mouth (that for some inexplicable reason I keep compulsively sticking my tongue into), the prior root canal treatment means that I'm not experiencing any physical pain. Further treatment will basically be geared toward saving what is left of the tooth. A true crown which goes around the tooth will need to be installed, but before then I'm going to need a procedure called "crown reduction", where some of the tooth bone is whittled away so that the crown has enough space to grab onto.
I have a consultation for the crown reduction currently scheduled for 2 weeks out. After that, I'm guessing it might be a week before the actual crown reduction is performed, and then after that I have to wait 5 more weeks for the site to sort of heal before the dentist can install the crown. The idea of going that long with a screwed-up tooth that can't bite anything is giving me the heebie-jeebies.
Mind you, my dentist doesn't seem to think anything bad is likely to happen in the intervening weeks...but other than "don't chew on that side", I am curious if there's anything I could or should be doing to manage this better. I keep getting horrible mental pictures of the tooth shattering completely and me having to sit there digging bloody shards out of my jaw.
Intellectually I realize that's unlikely, but if anyone has any personal "oh I had a broken tooth for 6 months and it turned out fine!" anecdotes, that'd at least be somewhat reassuring. Beyond that, practical tips would be appreciated tremendously (e.g., best methods for applying OTC dental cement, techniques for eating pizza, etc.). Thanks!