Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Cracked tooth

12 March, 2004

Question:

I am hoping to go to the mikveh in the next few days. I recently went to the dentist and learned that I have a cracked tooth that requires a crown. The tooth has a deep filling in it. I specifically asked the dentist whether the tooth or the filling was cracked and he indicated that it was the tooth. He has said that eventually the tooth will break if I do not cap it. The filling, while intact, is being held by the tooth that is cracked. The procedure to fix the tooth is complex and requires three dental visits (including a temporary cap) It is not possible to do the dental work prior to my current mikveh date. Additionally the crown is very expensive and the dentist said that I can manage indefinitely without the procedure by care in chewing hard things. My personal preference would be to not immediately do the dental work but wait until it is more exigent (pain or breaking) and more convenient –after Pesach. Does the situation with the tooth (eventual need to cap (take out filling?)) present any current problem in attending the mikveh (chatzizah) and would the process of fixing the tooth require that I schedule it such that it is complete and not in process before another mikveh visit.


Answer:

The tooth itself is part of your body and thus is not a chatzitzah. A well fitted temporary cap that is meant to be in place for a month or more (this is generally the case, as it is put back on after each step) is also not a chatzitzah. It thus appears that you can make your decisions without worrying about it interfering with mikveh immersion. I would think twice about delaying indefinitely, as an inadvertent bite on a hard object can lead to much more extensive problem.


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