I Have A Broken Tooth. Can You Save The Tooth?
Many people will put off going to the dentist for a checkup, but when you have suffered a broken tooth, you no longer have the luxury of procrastination. When it comes to emergency procedures, such as saving a broken tooth or capping a tooth that has become exposed, speed is of the essence. It’s imperative that you get to a dentist who is experienced handling broken teeth and has the equipment and expertise necessary.
A broken tooth can be both painful and scary, and an immediate worry is whether or not the tooth can be saved. Sometimes people will rush to a family dentist who isn’t as knowledgeable about how to save a broken tooth, and the remedies that are taken prove to be unreliable. That’s why you want to make sure that your dentist has the ability to create a durable solution for your injured tooth.
As we take a look at how to treat a broken tooth, it’s a good time to point out that Jody Jones, DDS, is renowned in the Nashville area for providing the best in restorative dental services, safely and reliably.
What can lead to a broken tooth?
There are a number of ways that a broken tooth can happen. One of the most likely causes is an accident or collision of some sort. This can occur when a person is hit in the mouth or face, such as when playing sports and being hit by the ball, puck, bat, or other piece of sporting equipment. It can also be the result of a fall or a collision, such as when riding a bike or a car accident.
Another common reason for a broken tooth is the consequence of biting down on something hard. This can happen when chewing ice, or a variety of hard foods, including nuts, candy, popcorn, fruit pits (peaches, olives, nectarines, etc.), or shell fish.
Broken teeth are also more likely to happen when a person hasn’t taken good care of their dental health. Teeth with untreated cavities will become weakened and be much more likely to break. The same is true for people suffering from bacterial infections or other conditions that weaken the jaw or enamel, so when an impact occurs the teeth will be more vulnerable to being damaged.
Can a broken tooth be saved?
Depending on the severity of the damage, a broken tooth can often be salvaged if treated quickly and properly. As soon as possible get ahold of your dentist and schedule an appointment. Some dentist offices will specialize in emergency care and have the ability to see a patient relatively soon, while other offices may require appointments well in advance. Make several calls until you find a recommended dentist with an opening.
In the meantime, as you are waiting to get seen by a dentist, there are some actions you can take to make it more likely that your tooth can be saved. First, wash out your mouth with warm water. To stop any bleeding, apply pressure to the injured region with a piece of gauze, a small towel, or even a tea bag. If you are suffering from swelling and/or excessive pain, you can also place a cold pack on the outside of your mouth, though you should limit the applications to no more than ten minutes at a time. Finally, it is recommended that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
How long can you go with a broken tooth?
Although there is not a definite answer to this question, the sooner you can get a broken tooth treated, the better. If you leave a broken tooth untreated, it will rapidly deteriorate, and can lead to severe pain. Over time, the injured tooth will become discolored and literally die. Not everyone realizes that your teeth are a living part of your body and when they are injured, they can lose the necessary blood flow and the inner tissues of the tooth can die. This can take place in a matter of days, or more gradually depending on the extent of the damage.
How to treat a broken tooth?
Your dentist will choose a treatment according to how serious the crack or chip is. For some tooth injuries, you might only need some polishing of the enamel to smooth the uneven surface. In more severe instances, when the root has been exposed, a root canal may be necessary. Oftentimes you will need to have a crown installed to cover the exposed area of the tooth.
In the most extreme instances, the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with some form of bridge or dental implant. The exact treatment will also depend on which tooth is injured and whether there is only one tooth that has been damaged, or several teeth.
No matter what, the sooner you can get to the dentist, the better your treatment options will be. Some people will try a home remedy or a home repair kit, which not only likely won’t save your tooth, it could make the situation worse.
How to prevent a broken tooth?
Although accidents are difficult to prevent and can happen at anytime, the healthier your mouth is, the most resilient your teeth will be if an impact does occur. Brush and floss regularly, use mouthwash, and avoid sugary foods and extremely hard foods that are more likely to break a tooth. Also, don’t use your teeth as a tool, such as to twist off a bottle cap.
Your Nashville, Tennessee Broken Tooth Specialists
If you or your loved one has suffered a broken tooth, you don’t want to wait to have it checked out. Patients facing an emergency situation with their teeth should seek out the most advanced and effective treatment possible. At Jody Jones, DDS, our entire staff works hard to provide Nashville area patients with the attentive and restorative care that they deserve. We employ only the latest equipment and procedures, and we make sure to treat every one of our patients like a member of our own family.
If you are dealing with a broken tooth, take action immediately. Call one of our friendly dental professionals today to schedule a visit.