Thankfulness #23: Repair-It
Yesterday I was grateful for the Repair-It kit. How long that thankfulness will last, we’ll see.
Before I explain what this is, I should probably start with a couple of facts. 1) I have Sjogren’s Syndrome (along with a cocktail of other things), which has adversely affected my saliva glands over the years (Read: only the ones in the very front bottom work well). 2) Because of this lack of saliva, and other issues caused by autoimmune disorders, I no longer have most of my natural teeth – in other words I have some very beautiful plastic ones.
Or they were beautiful.
On Sunday, while watching Survivor Series, I made the mistake of crunching on a pre-season candy cane. I know, I know. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and there I was eating a candy cane. I deserved everything that happened. Including the chunk that broke out of my poor tooth:
Sad, isn’t it? Now, being plastic, I still had the little piece, so I very carefully saved it, and knowing there is no way I will see a dentist for more than a week, on Monday we checked the pharmacy for a repair kit (thanks to those wacky catalogs my dad gets I knew they made repair kits, and google said Walgreens had them, and what is Walgreens if not a huge drug store?) Anyway, they didn’t have one, but they ordered one for me, which came in today for a total of 6$.
So this evening, I embarked on exciting dental adventures. The first thing was to open the pack and see what we got for our 6$.
There are three plastic trays, three packets of powder, a tube of liquid, a little “spatula” that looks like a boomerang, and some sandpaper. Ideally, enough stuff for three repairs. The directions, which I actually read all the way through for a change, seemed easy enough.
- Put the powder in the tray:
2. Add 22 drops of liquid.
The stuff came out in some pretty big drops, so I only did twenty (bad Jo) because I didn’t want the stuff to turn out too thin – the directions state it should be like syrup.
3. Stir it up with the “spatula”
4. And now, since it’s a missing/broken tooth, I was supposed to put the goo on the spot where the tooth went and then press the tooth into place, lining it up perfectly, and holding for one minute.
I honestly can’t imagine an older person with worse eyesight than mine, or with shaky hands, trying to do this. First off, that spatula is like trying to frost a cake using a stick. The adhesive didn’t want to stick to anything but it, in one giant clump. When I finally managed to scrap a glop onto the dentures, trying to get the chip of tooth positioned was reeeeal fun. I initially tried tweezers because the piece was so tiny, but the tweezers just made things more complicated (I did use them later to scrape away excess adhesive, though, so there’s that). In the end I used my finger, but it stuck to me more than the dentures, and by the time I had it on, it looked like this:
5. After letting it sit for a full minute, the next step is to “gently wipe away excess adhesive with a cotton swab”. Huh. Gently? No, not so much. The stuff was already starting to set, as you can probably see, and gently just made the chunky mess laugh. And as for “cotton swab” singular – riiiight. It took me five, and on the fifth swab the tiny piece I’d glued on fell off and hit the floor. Thank goodness after crawling around under the table I managed to find it.
I then had to fully clean all the chunky adhesive off of the tooth piece and the denture. By this point the adhesive left in the tray had the consistency of taffy:
So I decided I was better off starting over. 1) powder in the tray. 2) Use ALL 22 drops this time (maybe thinner stuff will be easier to work with). 3) stir.
AAAAnd, it looked a bit like water rather than syrup. But I after a few extra stirs I gave it a try. The thinner liquid (maybe coupled with the extra heft the dried adhesive gave to the spatula) was waaaaay easier to apply. It plopped right onto the broken tooth, and the only difficulty was getting the teeny tiny piece lined up. I did a reasonable job and let it sit for a minute:
You might be able to see from that pic that it wasn’t *quite* lined up. But after it set for it’s minute and I started gently cleaning away excess adhesive (being watery, it ran all down the inside) I managed to squish it into place better.
After I got the adhesive cleaned off, I took a picture, and in the camera’s light noticed that the whole bottom half of the tooth was now covered in excess glue that was not exactly visible to the naked eye:
AHHHH! but how was I supposed to “gently” wipe that off without the thing coming off again? So I moved on.
6. Let it sit for four minutes to “set”.
7. Soak the plate in a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water for ten minutes. I have no idea what the purpose of this is, but I am following directions, so:
8. Remove from water, rinse with soap and water, and allow to dry.
Yeah, except remember that adhesive all over the tooth? Guess what – it was still there (You didn’t think it would dissolve, did you?) So I pulled out the trick you’re supposed to use for smoothing split dentures: the sandpaper square:
And after some gentle sanding I got most of it off:
I could have worked on it some more, but truth is I was afraid I’d break it again. This just has to get me through until I can get in to a dentist and they can fix them with a new tooth, and besides, once it’s in my mouth you can’t even see it:
Ta-Da! I bet you can’t even tell which tooth it is, can you?
So, all in all, I am quite happy with the repair kit. Now, I don’t know how long it will last, or if it will hold up to, say, drinking cocoa, but we’ll see. I also want to add that the directions say to use in a ventilated area – and they are NOT joking. This was the one direction I ignored (I usually ignore ventilation warnings) and afterwards I had to stand with the patio doors open for a bit, ventilating myself and the house. Also, the little spatula is very easy to clean. You think it won’t be – you assume that glue will harden on it and never come off, but it pops right off in a solid piece. (That’s the kind of thing that makes me worry about how well this will hold).
Aside from that I got some writing done – I am now caught up to day 15 (which would be great except I am on day 23). Oh well. I will make it.
And now I leave you with this little dental how-to. Wasn’t that fun?
Have a day fifteen kinda day!