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There’s a certain expression of panic that blends a degree of disappointment with the usual alarm. I saw that look on a colleague’s face last week when he bit down on a granola bar and exfoliated a crown on # 10. He’s not a dentist and I won’t mention his name to spare him some embarrassment, so let’s just say he’s a figure in dental media. “Oh, crud. I sure am upset that this gosh darn cap came out,” he said in a much more colorful, New Jersey patois.
Fortunately, we were at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting exhibit hall and literally surrounded by solutions for his newfound problem. First, I got a brief dental history. He’d had an endo, post/core/crown done years ago and this wasn’t the first time the crown had exfoliated. Next, I had my friend show me the crown. It was intact and thankfully didn’t have a post and core inside of it. He pulled his lip up and I saw that the remaining tooth structure looked fairly intact. We decided to temporarily re-cement the crown until he could get back to his dentist.
We walked over to visit our friends and the Parkell booth. They kindly produced a fresh sample of E.T.C. (Easy Temporary Cement). Was I allowed to “practice dentistry” on the floor without prior approval? We figured a way around that. Rather than borrow some gloves and an explorer, we decided that my friend would hold the crown, I would dispense the cement into it, and he would insert himself. Fortunately, E.T.C. uses an automix syringe, so I didn’t have to make a mess of mixing. My friend cleaned up the excess with his fingernail, and we considered the mission a success. We thanked our Parkell friend for his assistance. “Happens all the time,” he said with a smile.