If you experience a broken tooth or dental restoration like a porcelain veneer or dental crown, you might be tempted to try gluing it back together. You should resist the temptation to do this, and try to get to a dentist to repair the tooth as quickly as possible–and in the meantime, just accept that your smile may not look its best.
Again, we can’t recommend any course of action other than going to the dentist for a repair, but there are some common solutions that people do attempt as short-term fixes.
Some people recommend denture adhesives for gluing a broken tooth or restoration back in place. This has the advantage of being a mostly safe option for gluing the restoration.
The disadvantage of denture adhesives is that they are not particularly strong. Heck, they are barely good enough for their stated job of holding dentures in place, and that’s with a lot of surface area and suction on their side.
This repair might be a reasonable cosmetic one for a short-term fix, but it won’t hold up to chewing.
OTC Dental Cement
Temporary dental cement is a more stable way to refit lost crowns and veneers, though it may not work for all these restorations. You have to be able to properly fit the broken piece back in place, and it requires a significant amount of surface area for this to work.
Temporary dental cement is the preferred fix. It’s relatively stable, nontoxic, and reasonably easy to apply. But you should try to contact your dentist first and only proceed with this solution if your dentist gives the go-ahead. Long-term reliance on this repair can lead to infection or decay of the tooth under the restoration and potential damage to your restoration.
Superglue refers to any of the cyanoacrylate adhesives known by trade names such as Super Glue, Krazy Glue and more. You will sometimes see this recommended as an approach to hold your dental crown or veneer on. Although this can work, there are several reasons not to do it.
First, superglues bond instantly with your skin, so it’s easy to accidentally glue your restoration to your finger or your finger to your tooth, or even your cheeks, lips, or tongue to your teeth.
Superglues are also toxic. Most people won’t have problems with the small amount of fumes released, but a small number will have a serious reaction to the fumes, either a skin reaction or an asthmatic reaction.
And superglue can have serious reactions with natural fibers, too, such as cotton, triggering a release of more toxic fumes or even causing spontaneous combustion.
If done properly, superglue will hold your veneer or crown in place, and we can dissolve it, though the solvents are also mildly toxic.
Long-term reliance on any of these solutions for dental treatment is not recommended. A British woman who used superglue for teeth that fell out, ended up needing serious care including dental implants to repair the damage she suffered.