The other day I had to go to the dentist for a filling. This always makes me think of the first experience with a dentist that I can remember. It was in South Africa in the early 1950’s and I had a filling done. Well there was no such thing as Novocain, just hang on and endure the pain. My father and I were talking about this afterwards and he says on his first trip to the dentist, the drill was powered with a foot peddle (he is 90).
Anyway, my trip was pain free and quick. Now this set me to thinking what you do about dental problems in a long-term major disaster situation. Well the first thing is to keep your teeth in good condition. This means regular trips to the dentist, brushing and flossing your teeth everyday.
But even with everything you can do to prevent dental problems, they can still occur. A good book to have is “Where There Is No Dentist” published be the Hesperian Society. It can be purchased on the internet or downloaded for free at http://hesperian.org/books-and-resources/. They also have other good medical books. “Where There is No Dentist”, tells you what medications you should stock for dental treatment and even how to make your own dental instruments.
There are also a few readily available items that will help you make temporary dental repairs while waiting to get to a doctor. You see these kits for sale on the internet and they are usually not cheap. However you can buy the ingredient for much less money. Just buy the following.
For lost fillings – most repair kits use a dental mixture of Eugenol (Clove Oil) and Zinc oxide. Dentists uses this mixture when making “Medicated Temporary Fillings”. This temporary filling material can be purchased over the counter in most pharmacies. It can also be purchased premixed ( Dentemp O.S.) or non premixed (Dentemp Custom). One brand adds dental wax to the mixture which makes it easier to apply but reduces its longevity once applied (DenTek Temparin)
Lost Crown- Lost crowns can be reattached by using a thin application of the temporary filling material.
For tooth pain the best remedy is the old standby of Eugenol (Clove Oil). When using be careful about getting it on your lips, it can cause some chapping.
Hoping you never have to do your own dental work.