DIY Dentistry – Don’t Do It!

Why you simply should not ‘try this at home’!

Individual cases of DIY dentistry have made the news recently. This is a worrying trend which does appear largely to be in areas where dental care is harder to find. This is not exclusively the reason though, cost and dental fear are also mentioned as reasons for taking this approach.

Whilst, at The Smile Dental Practice in Bromley we sympathise, especially with those who suffer from severe dental anxiety (and indeed we offer conscious sedation for these patients), but taking a DIY approach to your dental care is simply asking for trouble.

Responsibility

Of course, we want our patients to take responsibility for their oral health care. This though, does not mean performing potentially risky procedures on themselves, but ensuring that their teeth are brushed and flossed regularly and that oral examinations are carried out by their local dentist at least twice a year. Actual procedures though, should be carried out by a fully trained dentist to ensure both a successful treatment and avoid any potential complications that could occur.

Examples

Some of the cases that have hit the news are rather extreme. One of these included a woman who was so afraid of visiting a dentist that she actually super-glued her teeth back in, effectively creating a set of dentures made from hardened superglue. Another case involved a dental student who extracted his own wisdom tooth! Whilst he would, admittedly, have had more knowledge of what he was doing than a regular patient, this can be a very tricky procedure and could have caused damage and severe pain.

Most cases of DIY dentistry are not as drastic and are more common but can still cause major problems.

Extraction

Adult teeth are firmly embedded into the jawbone and any attempt to extract them ourselves could cause damage to the bone and jaw. If not extracted correctly, a tooth may also break off, leaving a tricky procedure for your dentist to complete. The associated pain would also likely be intense.

Crown reattachment

One of the more common cases is where a dental crown has become detached with some patients trying to reattach them with superglue. Whilst this may seem logical, the chemicals in many glues will damage the natural tooth and may lead to breakage, rendering the crown useless. So please do not do this!

Fillings

Whilst temporary filling kits are available from chemists and are very useful in an emergency; these should not be considered as a permanent solution. If you use one of these, you should always visit our Bromley dental practice as soon as you can to have it checked. A common problem with DIY fillings is that they are not placed tightly and bacteria can get into the gaps, causing additional tooth decay.

For those considering DIY dentistry due to costs; at the Smile Dental Practice, you may wish to consider Denplan, a monthly payment scheme, to help you to spread the cost of any treatment that you need.

For more information, please call us on 020 8462 2473.