I was invited to an engagement party over the weekend. It was such a lovely occasion. I'll set the scene. Happy couple, pleased to be sharing their great news with their nearest and dearest, big smiles on their faces, the bride-to-be showing off her enviably sized 1.5 carat diamond on platinum ring. Congratulations hugs, hand shakes and kisses being passed around. With champagne on tap to toast the joyous occasion, I am in an amazingly great mood, feeding off the positive energy in the room.
Then someone taps me on the shoulder and asks ' Excuse me, are you a dentist?' Before I even get a chance to open my mouth to answer a timid 'yes' (experience has taught me to answer with great caution, especially to complete strangers), I hear a second voice 'Dentist, who? Tell me, who is the Dentist, my crown fell out last night while chewing on a.........' This second person had hardly had time to finish their sentence when a third person interrupted - 'I need to find a new dentist, I want Zoom teeth whitening'. Aaargh! Just as I was really getting into the party mood, someone had to selfishly remind me about my day job! Tell me, why is it that once my professional identity of 'Dentist' is revealed at social events, I suddenly have a long queue of people waiting to chat to me at their various dental ailments? I always kindly oblige, well maybe to the first two.........
Having given it more thought, I realised a weekly Q & A for my website and blog might be a great help to address those questions that everyone always wants to know about their teeth. So from now on, I will add a helpful and hopefully interesting tip, to help increase people's knowledge on Dentistry, their mouths, teeth and gums. Then maybe, just maybe, in the not so distant future, I will be able to enjoy all social events without having to do mini dental consultation at the dinner table! (I do enjoy it really)
And as they say, there is no time like the present!
Q: My crown fell off - what should I do?
A: Keep the crown safe in a tissue or a small container. Call to book an emergency appointment with your dentist at their and your earliest convenience. The earlier you have it recemented the better, as this will prevent movement of the teeth on either side of the gap and movement of the tooth directly below the gap. A crown can usually be recemented back into place if the understructure that supports the crown (the tooth structure that was reduced so that the crown could be placed) has not been damaged and can still hold the crown. In the mean time, try not chew on the side the crown has come off - if you do chew on it by mistake, it shouldn't cause much harm. Brush the tooth as normal if it is not too sensitive.
Boots sells a Dental First Aid Kit which is an easy to use kit with materials which can be used to temporarily secure loose crowns, caps and inlays.