Recently while on the mainland for business and a visit with friends, I snapped an inlay (filling) loose while flossing.
In this article, we thought you may find benefit from hearing our thought process, the questions we asked prospective dentists and ultimately what we decided to do to address this dental snafu while away from home.
First, let’s define what happened and the mistake I made which caused the problem in the first place.
(If you want to skip the story, scroll to the end and just gather the takeaway gems.)
Will here. After learning all we did during the Healthy Mouth World Summit, I decided to have some way-too-old fillings replaced. You can read more about that dental experience in our article, “Why conscious sedation may NOT be in your best interest”.
Some of the fillings were big enough that the dentist determined inlays would be the best solution to replace the failed fillings. Inlays, also called on-lays, are partial crowns. You see, once a filling gets too big (or affects more than one surface of the tooth), its capacity to stay intact declines. So, rather than create a full crown, some dentists elect to place inlays, which allows them to leave more of the tooth intact rather than having to crown the whole tooth.
So, here I was flossing unconsciously and ‘snap’, I broke the inlay (filling) loose scian nebulizer.
Lesson #1 if you have a crown or any type of filling between teeth (where this inlay is placed): when flossing, never pull the taught floss up. You have to do this funky ‘floss down then pull out the floss around the side’ technique to avoid doing exactly what I did.
I immediately grabbed my bottle of HealThy Mouth Blend, put a couple drops on my finger, pressed on the inlay and popped it back in place, but the damage was done. The filling had broken loose from being cemented to the tooth dental instruments. Thankfully, it was still in one piece so I was pretty sure it could just be reset.
Figuring out our options…
Question 1: get this done while on vacation or wait until we got home?
We weren’t scheduled to be home for over a week. Every meal, I risked the inlay coming loose and damaging other teeth by biting down on it. Another risk was the possibility of accidentally swallowing it dental handpiece. Plus, since the underlying tooth nerves were used to being covered, anytime I ate or drank anything, there was significant nerve stimulation (my convenient way of re-framing dental pain).
So, I had to get this restoration put back in its place during the trip…
Given this decision, my mind shifted to question #2: how to find a dentist I’d trust to work in my mouth?