Stupid teeth.
January 17, 2011 9:30 AM   Subscribe

I have a dental issue (broken crown) but I'm not in my home country and won't be back for a week. I'm not in pain and I can probably live with it for now. Would waiting a week to see a dentist be detrimental?

A lower premolar just broke off at the gumline. I had a crown on that tooth and recently (within the last year) had to have a root canal on it as well. I did save the crown, for what that's worth.

If I were at home in the US I'd be in to see my dentist in the next day or two. But I'm in Germany for a week on a business trip. I don't really have any free time until Thursday. I'm not sure if I should try and find a dentist locally or if could wait until Monday when I am back in the States.

I am hesistant to go to the dentist here for a few reasons. First, I would have to tell someone at the office that I need a dentist, and that is embarrassing to contemplate. Also, how likely would I be to find an English-speaking dentist in Dusseldorf? Lastly, I am not sure what they could even do for me - If they only tell me that it needs to be pulled, it's not like I would do that here. I would wait until I got home.

What am I not considering? What would you do? If you're a dentist, what are the chances that a week would make a difference? YANMD, obviously.

Please forgive the rambling but I am panicking a bit here.
posted by cabingirl to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
See if you can find a crown repair kit in a drugstore. It should be able to hold you over for a couple days.
posted by phunniemee at 9:33 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the quick answer, phunniemee. To clarify, though, the tooth itself broke off at the gumline, so there's really nothing to stick together. (Just in case it helps inform future answers)
posted by cabingirl at 9:36 AM on January 17, 2011

Due to dental insurance issues, I once had to go a month with a broken crown and had no issues. When I had insurance again, the dentist repaired everything with no problems. Just try not to chew on that side until it's fixed.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:40 AM on January 17, 2011

I had a tooth break off at the gum line. Went to my dentist and he referred me to a dental surgeon to remove what was left. I had to wait 3 weeks and suffered no problems. So I would think it fine to wait until you get home.
posted by JayRwv at 9:45 AM on January 17, 2011

Yup, I'll chime in and say that it will probably be fine. I had a filling fall out (replaced with a crown) that took a few days to repair. Same with a regular tooth that broke. My dentist advised to keep the area clean in the meantime. Good luck!
posted by Calzephyr at 9:51 AM on January 17, 2011

I will agree that you will probably be fine, I had a broken crown for a year with no ill effects (too lazy to go to the dentist, didn't want to spend the money).

However, you may want to favor the other side of your mouth until you get it all fixed. And be careful about chewy or really hard foods; don't want to injure the broken tooth further.
posted by Kronur at 9:59 AM on January 17, 2011

A crown just protects a (reduced) tooth. Keep up on dental hygiene and it'll be fine. I just got done with a 4 month stint with a provisional bridge while waiting for the lab to not screw up my permanent (3 tries), and it broke repeatedly, my dentist never seemed too worried about the tooth, just my personal comfort.
posted by Rendus at 10:28 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I did some glancing at forums around the interwebs, and a lot of people said that you could get a check-up, cleaning and x-ray at a dentist in Germany for around 40-80 EUR. Maybe hit up a German dentist to at least do a quick exam (cheaper) to make sure you can ride out a week for peace of mind.

Otherwise, I'd imagine that if it doesn't hurt you should be good until you get home.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:36 AM on January 17, 2011

At least you've had a root canal, so you won't feel pain. My instinct is to say it'll be fine, the tooth is sealed. 2nding keeping up on your dental hygiene until you get home.

Is there a way to call your dentist at home to advise?
posted by 6:1 at 12:17 PM on January 17, 2011

My husband has broken off bits of a crown more than once and the dentist told him to use one of those drugstore repair kits till he could come in and get it fixed.
posted by selfmedicating at 1:27 PM on January 17, 2011

I once had a crown come off, and in the weeks before I was able to get to a dentist, the tooth migrated upwards. It shifted back into place once the crown was back on, but chewing was uncomfortable for a little while, and I was lucky.

Not saying you need to go immediately, but I'd say go to the dentist ASAP when you're back home. Though I'm sure there are English-speaking dentists in Düsseldorf. Check for starters.
posted by the_blizz at 4:59 PM on January 17, 2011

Another dental thread made me want to come in and update my own thread. I did not see a dentist in Dusseldorf. I waited until I got home, and my own dentist told me it was not salvageable. He recommends that I get an implant, so we'll see how that goes.
posted by cabingirl at 8:31 AM on May 16, 2011

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