Tooth injuries can occur at any time, causing a broken or cracked tooth that needs dental care. Trauma to the face or jaw can cause a broken or damaged tooth, and sports, vehicle accidents, falls and violent encounters are common causes of broken or knocked-out teeth. Sometimes, simply biting down on a hard item like a popcorn kernel can crack a tooth. If you break a tooth, do you know what to do? Here are some tips on how to care for your damaged tooth and when you should see an emergency dentist.
Cracked and Chipped Teeth
Chipped teeth are common from falls and accidents where you hit your tooth against a hard item. Most chips do not pose an immediate threat to your dental health, but you should have it looked at during your next dental visit. A little composite resin or filling can replace the lost enamel and protect the tooth from decay.
With a cracked tooth, there is more concern. Even small cracks can deepen or become worse if not repaired quickly. You should call a dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. At Johns Creek Dental Studio, we can often see you the same day or within a day or two. Until you can have your cracked tooth examined and repaired, try not to bite down on anything with the tooth. You can use over-the-counter pain relievers and ice if it causes you pain. Repairs for cracked teeth can include fillings or bonding, but some may require root canals, crowns, inlays or onlays.
If a piece of tooth breaks off from impact or biting down on a hard substance, you need urgent dental care. The interior tooth may be exposed, and it can be at risk for further damage or infection. Call to make an emergency dental appointment. In the meantime, rinse your mouth out with warm saltwater, and then press an ice pack on the face near the tooth. If the tooth is bleeding, you can pack the area with gauze or a wet tea bag to absorb the blood. You can take OTC pain relievers for discomfort.
Fixing a broken tooth will usually require onlays or inlays for small breaks and dental crowns for larger breaks. Some broken teeth may also require a root canal if the nerve was damaged.
If you have a tooth completely knocked out or removed (avulsion), you need urgent dental care. You should keep the tooth, but only hold it by the crown – do not touch the root. Call our team at Johns Creek Dental Studio and explain your situation. We can usually see emergency patients right away. In many cases, the tooth can be replaced in the socket to restore your natural tooth. If it is not possible to restore the tooth, we can repair any damage to the socket and ensure all pieces of the tooth are removed. Dr. Parikh can discuss tooth replacement options with you, if needed, such as a dental implant.
When you have a cracked, broken or lost tooth, call our team at Johns Creek Dental Studio first. We offer emergency dental care for new and existing patients at our clinic in Alpharetta, GA.