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Dental Glue: Fixing Loose, Chipped and Broken Teeth

It is easy to assume that you are never going to encounter a real dental emergency that requires dental glue. After all, you are doing everything that you can to take good care of your teeth—cleaning them twice a day, being careful of what you bite into, flossing regularly and visiting a dentist every now and then.

However, if you have ever experienced a broken tooth and required dental restoration, it may have been tempting to simply glue the tooth back together with your everyday craft glue. This is definitely not something you should do!

There is actually a kind of glue for teeth, which goes by the name of dental glue, and is used by dentists to help restore broken teeth and prevent further damage.

So what is dental glue? What is it made of and how does it help with a dental repair? Keep reading to find out!

If you are wondering how to temporarily repair your tooth at home, our guide to home tooth repair kits can help.

Table of contents

What is dental glue?

Dental glue, also known as dental cement, tooth glue, or tooth crown glue, is an agent that a dentist uses for securing a dental implant or restoration, for example, a fixed bridge, inlay, onlay, or crowns, to your damaged teeth. It co be purchased over the counter, but in this case, it is only meant for very temporary treatment.

Dental cements possess unique chemical features that aid in achieving their purpose: to ensure that the carefully crafted dental restorations stay exactly where they should be—in your mouth.

Dental glue is usually advertised as a short-term fix for chipped teeth, damaged veneers, and broken crowns. However, some newer products have been launched which can be used as a long-term solution as well.

Let’s take a brief look at how dental glue actually works.

How does dental glue work?

Dental glue uses retention and resistance upon compression to work. In some types of dental cements, a formation of chemical bonds also occurs.

The force exerted by the compressed dental glue lying just beneath the crown of the tooth is what holds and bonds it together. The chemical bond formed between the glue and the crown provides extra strength and it is less likely to break down as compared to glue that does not form bonds.

However, because chemically-bonded dental cement possesses higher strength, it may cause difficulties during the removal of crowns for repair or replacement purposes.

Stronger dental cement is a great option for those who continually grind their teeth as it can provide additional stability to the crowns and keep them intact for a longer duration of time.

Would you like to speak to a dentist about dental cement? Using JustAnswer you can connect 24/7 via live chat and get answers to all your dental questions. Click below to get started!

Types of dental glue: permanent vs temporary

Dental cement has been classified into three different types based on their application uses.

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Type of cement Application
Type I(a) Fine grains used for luting and cementation
Type I(b) Medium grain used for orthodontic purposes
Type II Used for restorative purposes
Type III Used for liners or base applications

Dental glue for crowns and other restorations are classified differently based on their duration of use and composition.

There are two types of dental glue depending on the length of time for which they are used:

  • Temporary dental glue
  • Permanent dental glue

Temporary dental glue

Temporary cement is a part of the temporary filling kit which is commonly used to fix crowns and other restorations for a short duration of time. A dentist uses this kind of dental crown glue in circumstances where they wish to observe and assess the response of your teeth to the restoration in use.

Temporary cements are usually made up of eugenol, olive oil, and zinc oxide powder.

Temporary dental glue features the following aspects:

  • It provides a good grip on teeth as well as on the dental crowns
  • It is easily tolerated by the surrounding tissue
  • It is easy to remove
  • It protects a damaged tooth and helps minimize its sensitivity
  • Saliva helps it dissolve in a short period of time. Because of this, temporary glue must be replaced with permanent glue in 3 to 6 weeks following its application
  • It possesses a low resistance

Permanent dental glue

Permanent dental glue is the type of teeth glue used for fixing various dental restorations on a permanent basis. In contrast to temporary dental glue, permanent glue is made up of hard and brittle materials obtained by mixing liquid and powder together.

These are the features of a permanent dental glue:

  • It creates a strong bond with the tooth and the restoration to provide long-term, permanent protection
  • It is easily tolerated by the surrounding tissue, thereby preventing dead teeth and tissue.
  • It provides good sealing at the margins to prevent leakage
  • It protects the dental tissue from all sorts of external stimuli
  • It provides exceptional resistance
  • It does not dissolve in saliva or any other oral liquid; offers permanent protection

Types of dental glue: composition

Depending on what it’s made of, dental cement can be divided into six types:

Glass ionomer cement

Glass ionomer cement is made from powdered glass mixed with an acid. It is used for the final cementation of bridges and crowns made from alloys, but it doesn’t adhere to porcelain. Glass ionomer cement is often the material of choice for filling children’s milk teeth, too.

Bioceramic cement

Bioceramic dental cement is a permanent adhesive agent that appears opaque on x-rays. It’s commonly used for endodontic (root canal) work because it is biocompatible, meaning it can either function as natural tissue or encourage the regeneration of tissue.

Zinc oxide eugenol cement

Zinc oxide cement is an oil-based glue used to soothe the pulp of a broken tooth. It is usually avoided in cases where permanency is required. This cement is particularly helpful to temporarily cement a tooth with exposed dentine. Nowadays, many companies are adding different splinting agents to the zinc oxide cement to grant it permanent luting effects.

Zinc oxide eugenol is not considered to be a strong product for cementing most types of dental restorations, and its use is normally limited to gluing stainless steel crowns, acrylic crowns, and cast restorations.

Zinc phosphate cement

Zinc phosphate cement was one of the first permanent cements to be used in dentistry, and it remains in wide use today for a variety of permanent restoration purposes. Although it doesn’t chemically bond to the tooth surface, it has exhibited significant long-term success. However, it is gradually becoming less popular because its relatively high acidity can irritate tooth pulp.

Adhesive resin cement

Adhesive resin cement is a permanent dental glue that bonds with most ceramic and alloy restorations, except implant-supported crowns, veneers, indirect resin restorations, and bridges.

Aesthetic resin cement

Aesthetic resin cement contains translucent resins that are available in different shades, meaning it can be made to match the natural tooth color. It is normally used for bonding all-ceramic and indirect composite restorations, including repairing a chipped tooth. This type of glue has high resistance and utility and a unique composition that does not break apart or dissolve.

How do dentists choose dental glue?

Normally, dentists decide on the kind of dental cement they use depending on the following three factors:

Longevity

Longevity is one of the main factors that the dentist will consider when choosing the best glue for you. For instance, they may use a temporary or a permanent glue depending on how long you need the crown.

Durability

Durability really matters when it comes to choosing the right kind of dental glue, and it basically depends on the type of restoration used. Permanent dental glue provides good durability and is used for keeping long-term crowns and bridges in place. In contrast, people who do not require a hard finish can try the eugenol-free glue.

Aesthetics

Depending upon your aesthetic requirements, dentists may choose different sorts of dental glue. For example, most people get a temporary glue made with resin because its base is clear in color and it is aesthetically pleasing. At the same time, this type of glue is difficult to remove and may get discolored easily. So, all these factors must be kept in mind when deciding the right type of dental glue.

Techniques for applying glue

There are a number of steps that dentists usually follow in order to apply the glue. In this scenario, we will discuss its application in reference to broken crowns.

  • The mouth is properly cleaned followed by cleaning and disinfection of the crowns. The dentist usually puts a rubber dam or cotton rolls in the mouth to get rid of any fluid.
  • The glue is prepared according to the instructions until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • The dental glue is then applied to the interior of the crown in such a way that it covers it completely.
  • The dentist then places the crown on the abutment of the tooth in order to prevent any misplacement.
  • After the restoration process is completed, all extra glue is cleared away.

After the process, the patient is advised to maintain good oral health and keep in touch with the dentist.

Can you use superglue as dental glue for tooth fixing?

‘Superglue’ is the commercial name for cyanoacrylate adhesives meant for a range of household and medical purposes. This type of adhesive is not meant for internal use, so it shouldn’t be used as a dental glue. Some people may even have an asthmatic or a skin reaction as soon as they come in contact with superglue.

Superglue may also have a serious reaction with different types of natural fibers, for example, cotton which is commonly used in dental procedures. These reactions exacerbate the release of toxic fumes and may even lead to combustion,

Second, super glue can form instant bonds with your skin. You could easily end up with your restoration glued to your own finger or your finger to your tooth, lips, tongue, or cheeks while trying to fix your broken tooth!

Instead of using a household glue to try and fix your teeth, there are specially designed kits you can use for temporary filling repair or tooth replacement.

Conclusion

Dental glue is an amazing creation designed to hold your damaged tooth together and protect it from further damage. It can provide both short-term and long-term benefits, but must only be used under the supervision of your dentist. After any procedure involving dental glue to repair your teeth, take extra care regarding your oral health and visit your dentist once or twice a year at least, depending on the recommendation of your dentist, to make sure that everything continues to be in order.

If you still have questions about dental glue, why not chat with a dentist using JustAnswer? Qualified dentist are available to answer your questions 24/7.

What glue can you use on teeth?

Teeth can be fixed with either temporary or permanent dental glue. The most common types of glue include glass Ionomer for orthodontic brackets and zinc-oxide for restorations. There’s also composite resin for veneers and orthodontics and zinc phosphate for crowns, and orthodontics.

How can you care for a dental crown with temporary dental glue?

Properly caring for temporary dental crowns include avoiding chewing on the crowned tooth, staying away from sticky foods, maintaining good oral hygiene, alerting your dentist to any discomfort.

My crown fixed with temporary glue just fell off. Do I have to go back to the dentist or can I glue it back on myself?

If your temporary crown falls off you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can buy OTC dental glue to fix it. This is not a permanent solution, and will only last a couple of days.

If you're suffering from a cracked, chipped, or broken tooth, dental glue can save the day. Read on to find more about this miracle dental solution.

Which glues can you use to repair broken teeth?

You never know when an encounter with a hockey puck, beer bottle cap, or even a popcorn kernel could lead to the damage or loss of a tooth. Seeking professional dental treatment should always be the first option. However, it can cost thousands of dollars and many of us don’t have that kind of cash on hand. Various alternative, DIY options exist, including non toxic super glue for teeth, although in general each should be treated as a temporary solution and a last resort. Some are safer than others, but any DIY dental work carries serious risks, including that of permanent, irreparable damage. Arguably, the best options on the market today is Temptooth Tooth Replacement.

When an affordable solution is urgently needed for a lost or chipped tooth, some individuals are tempted to resort to standard super glue for a quick fix. After all, in the Vietnam era the military ran trials on using super glue for closing wounds, right? There are reasons it didn’t catch on; today modern medical super glues are occasionally used, but are based on a different, non-toxic formula.

Arguably, the best options on the market today is Temptooth Tooth Replacement, available on Amazon»

Hazards of super glue

Dental use of household super glue carries great risks. First, the active ingredients in super glue are toxic cyanoacrylates. Most users experience no negative reaction, others are not so lucky. Due to quick setting times, mistakes are easy to make with standard super glue, such as setting a tooth in the wrong position or gluing your inner cheek, tongue or finger to the tooth. Most worryingly, cyanoacrylates can damage the structure of your tooth, for example killing the tooth’s inner dentin tubules (see below), leading to more extensive and costly damage.

Dentin tubules are hollow canals in the dentin that carry sensations from the outside of the tooth to the inside. The tubules transmit hot and cold sensation. Sticky substances such as glue can damage the tubules and cells inside the tooth, causing discomfort and pain.

Less hazardous forms of cyanoacrylates have been developed for medical use. Most of these are too weak and flexible for use on teeth. The exception is Periacryl, which is designed specifically as a non toxic super glue for teeth. It is, however, difficult to procure.

Veterinary glue is a much more available, budget alternative, which some outdoorsmen and preppers keep in their first-aid kits. Although also based on a medical-specific cyanoacrylate formula, veterinary glues are not designed for use with human teeth. Nevertheless, options include Surgi-Lock, Nexaband, VetGlu, Vetbond, and LiquiVet.

Effective alternatives

For a similar price, products meant specifically for human teeth are available. These include over-the-counter dental cements and temporary repair kits. Still, these options are weaker than the compounds used by the professionals and none should be considered a permanent solution for damaged or lost teeth, broken crowns or damaged veneers. Professional dental treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

One of the most popular options is moldable plastic, which comes in in the form of small beads which you simply heat to combine and mold. These are especially useful for missing teeth. No additional adhesive is necessary; a properly formed replacement tooth will stay in place on its own. That said, you must be ready and able to sculpt your own tooth replacement or repair piece.

To make it easy to do this within minutes, Temptooth Tooth replacement comes with free dental tools and extensive instructions, including a 3D video. If the original color doesn’t match that of your teeth, you can soak the replacement tooth in tea or coffee for a few hours or until it reaches the desired hue. Thanks to its free extras and ease of use, Temptooth is probably the most popular and successful tooth replacement product available today, enjoying a very high level of customer satisfaction. The high-quality dental tools can also be used for long-term dental hygiene.

However, if you want to save a bit more money, Instamorph Moldable Plastic comes with enough of the same sort of plastic beads for dozens of replacement teeth without any of the extras. You can buy Instamorph on Amazon for less than $15. Many users successfully shape their own replacement teeth with Instamorph without dental tools. Instructional videos can be found for free on YouTube (as shown above), making Instamorph perhaps the cheapest viable tooth replacement option available today. Many users continue sculpting a new moldable plastic tooth when the old ones wear out, about every few months.

Despite the wild popularity and high success rate of moldable plastic tooth replacements, not everyone has the knack for shaping a realistic tooth. If you have managed to keep your lost tooth or tooth fragment, it may be easier to fix it back into place temporarily with GIC: Glass Ionomer Cement from DRM. This is the publicly available dental cement that is closest in strength to the cements used by dentists, even claiming to be a permanent solution (though we still suggest seeing a dentist as soon as possible) and therefore also requires great care to use. Advertised for fillings, bridges, and caps, GIC is shipped as a separate powder and liquid, and includes implements for, and instructions on, how to combine them into a powerful dental cement. It is vital to be well prepared before application and to ensure that you are still able to floss around the areas around the target tooth before the cement sets. There are also YouTube tutorials for GIC, such as the one below.

No matter which solution you choose, if considering something like non toxic super glue for teeth, make sure your teeth are as clean and dry as possible and make sure you follow the instructions in every detail. None of these solutions should be seen as a permanent replacement for proper dental treatment; bring your problem to a dentist at the earliest opportunity.

Read why dental use of household super glue carries great risks. When an affordable solution is urgently needed, there are better DIY options including a special non toxic super glue for teeth.