The Job of a Broken Repair Kit…
The job of a broken tooth repair kit is to ensure that no further bacteria get into the cavity. Bacteria entering the cavity of a broken tooth cause decay and infection. In addition, when the cavity is filled, the hole will no longer be open and therefore food debris will be kept out and it will be easier to keep clean.
Food stagnation into a tooth also causes bad breath. It is important to stress that a broken tooth repair kit is only a temporary measure and you must go and see a dentist: either your regular dentist or an emergency dentist.
The type of broken tooth repair kit that you buy depends on whether you are getting discomfort from the tooth or not.
It may also be that your broken tooth is sharp and cutting into your tongue or your cheek. In these instances, plugging the gap from the broken tooth repair kit may help the situation but often it does not.
If the tooth is still sharp, the only thing you can do apart from visiting a dentist is to perhaps ask someone to smooth your tooth with sandpaper or with a nail file. Depending on the position of your tooth, you may be able to do this yourself.
If the tooth is very painful, you need to look out for the ingredient called zinc oxide eugenol. The fillings that all dentist use professionally contain this ingredient of zinc oxide eugenol.
There are two components to this which are the zinc oxide and the eugenol. This zinc oxide is the actual filler and it has got a property in that it has a high pH. The high pH makes it alkaline in character and this alkalinity helps to combat the bacterial acids that are causing your toothache. Of course, if the pain has severely infected your nerve, there is very little that can be done to alleviate the pain other than an extraction or a root canal treatment.
Needless to say, trying to extract your own tooth is extremely risky and there is no guarantee that your toothache will be eliminated. This is because in nearly every case that I have seen where a patient has tried to remove their own tooth, the root snaps off and the infection then remains.
The other ingredient that we have just mentioned is called eugenol. Eugenol is same as clove oil and sometimes your elderly grandmother will tell you to use clove oil inside a tooth cavity. There is indeed wisdom in this. Eugenol has an obtundent effect on the tooth dentine and pulp. This is like an anaesthetic effect to calm the nerves down.
If your broken tooth is not painful, there is a better type of temporary filling that you can buy over the counter. This is the one that contains glass ionomer. It is sometimes known as a glass ionomer cement. This has a fantastic character in that it bonds onto the tooth structure. This means that the temporary filling will stay in longer and this material is also harder than the zinc oxide eugenol filling material as mentioned initially.
Unfortunately, glass ionomer cement is not to be used near the nerve of the tooth so, in cavities that are causing pain, it is best to use the other alternative.
A broken tooth repair kit can cost as little as £4 all the way up to £70.
The ones that do contain zinc oxide eugenol or glass ionomer as mentioned above, are the best ones to use and usually, they will cost from £20 onwards.
How long does a broken tooth repair kit last for?
The simple answer is that a broken tooth repair kit is only used as a last resort when you cannot go and see a dentist immediately. It should never replace going to see a professional dentist for the correct treatment. However, a broken tooth repair kit filling can last as little as a few hours to as long as a month.
There are three important factors which have a large influence on how long the broken tooth repair kit filling will last.
Firstly, it is important to clean your tooth as thoroughly as possible with a hard toothbrush including the use of interdental brushes or flossing. This is to ensure that there is no plaque or food debris which will hinder the temporary filling sticking onto the tooth.
Secondly, it is important to have the tooth as dry as possible before using the broken tooth repair kit temporary filling. The temporary filling will stick much better if your tooth is dry and free of saliva. To achieve this, you must dry the tooth with a piece of kitchen roll or cotton wool. Ideally, you can ask somebody to do this for you as it will be more effective.
Thirdly, try to make sure that your bite does not interfere with the broken tooth repair kit filling that you have just placed. If the bite is deemed high, you will more than likely dislodge your filling within a short period of time plus also it will be uncomfortable to bite on anyway.
There are two ways to ensure that the bite is correct. Firstly, make sure that you do not overfill the tooth and secondly, bite on the tooth immediately after you have placed the filling to make sure that any excess material is displaced away.
Many broken tooth repair kits also come with additional instruments such as a mirror, a dental probe and a filling placed instrument. Try to use these as these will help you to place the best temporary filling possible until you can get to see a dentist.
In conclusion, broken tooth repair kits can be extremely useful whilst you are waiting to get your tooth repaired professionally.