Do-it-yourself projects can be fun. After an afternoon watching HGTV, who wouldn’t be inspired to reface their cabinets or repaint a guest room? But DIY projects should never extend to medical and dental procedures. Occasionally, patients will come into my office after treating themselves. The results are never good and the consequences can be very harmful. Here are some of the most common DIY mistakes that patients make:
Denture adjustment-Dentists use a special paste to mark high spots. We can’t tell just by looking at the denture and neither can you.
Filing a sharp tooth-When a dentist adjusts your tooth, the handpiece sprays water to prevent overheating of the tooth. Your Dremel is not equipped with a water spray and shouldn’t be used inside the mouth.
Denture repair-Yes, Superglue will temporarily hold the pieces together, but positioning the broken parts is more difficult than you think. The residue can also be difficult to remove so that a professional repair can be done. Plus, the toxic ingredients are probably not healthy to ingest.
Cementing a crown or bridge-Again, Superglue probably seems like the best at-home choice. The problem is positioning the crown/ bridge correctly. And, the toxic adhesive cannot be good to swallow.
Draining an abscess-Always call your dentist when you see swelling. Poking at an abscess with a needle or sharp object can introduce harmful bacteria. Once swelling starts it can quickly spread, so you must call a professional ASAP. Don’t try to manage this situation at home.
Save your DIY talent for your next home or craft project. Your dentist has spent many years training to handle these situations and we will be more than happy to help you!