Super-glue and Dental Repair

So there you are, in a remote mountain hut, and you’re dutifully flossing… when your crown pops off. Assuming you manage to avoid it disappearing down a soak-away, what do you do next?

Well you could put up with it and simply get it fixed when you get home. However in my case, it was a temporary front crown and although there was no pressing medical reason to glue it back in place, it left me with a truly scary-looking, brilliant-white post where one of my front teeth should have been. It was quite eye-catching.

I have enough difficulty making myself understood in tourist French without them staring in horror at some kind of cyborg-vampire-tooth.

So, I simply dried the crown and post. Then I dried them some more (super-glue only cures in the presence of water). Then I applied a tiny, tiny drop of super-glue to the bottom of the hole in the crown, slid the crown slowly back… most of the way into place… but not enough to reach the drop of glue… and then bit on it hard to seat it properly.

The glue was forced up around the post and set hard whilst I kept pressure on it for thirty seconds. It held it in place for the rest of the trip and well beyond. In fact my dentist hasn’t bothered to attempt to repair it since he says it’s perfectly fine where it is and he was already scheduled to create the final crown anyway (it goes in this Friday in fact…)

Note that I was fixing a crown onto a post and not a living tooth. I am unsure as to whether it’s true but according to a thread on backpackinglight.com, doing so can kill the tooth. I must admit to being very sceptical of that claim though, since my dentist informed me that super-glue was tried as a crown fixative and he didn’t mention it was only to be used on posts. However, I do carry a tiny dental repair kit that has proved very useful for another member of the party whose tooth partly broke in a remote location!

As it happens I carry super-glue for possible blister repair as Ryan Jordan mentions on that same thread.

I’ve always used the “UHU Super Glue Minis” (just search ebay for them) since they are very, very small and only weigh 4 grams each. They are sold in packs of three, with the theory being that instead of opening one large tube and then finding it has all gone-off 18 months later, you can open three separate tubes and ensure you have a fresh tube each time.

The one in my lightweight repair kit came in very handy indeed.