Broken Tooth Dental Emergency

By: Dentist Emergency Australia  02-Jul-2011
Keywords: Emergency Service, Emergency, Dentist Emergency Service

Broken Tooth Dental Emergency

If you have a broken or fractured tooth you may or may not be experiencing discomfort.  You  may only be experiencing an abrasion or cut on your tongue.

Dental Emergency Professional attention is required as soon as possible.  The internal and delicate areas of the tooth, may now be exposed to the bacteria in the mouth. Left unprotected this could lead to new or increased decay, and ultimately loss of tooth or root canal therapy.

Time is of the essence. 

Lost Filling or Broken Tooth Dental Emergency

When a filling is lost or a tooth is broken with decay present, you might feel a void or a “hole”.
The tooth may be highly sensitive to changes in temperature.
An unattended void or “hole” in a tooth could lead to more extensive damage to the tooth.

If a tooth is knocked out, hold the tooth by the crown and rinse the root in water if it's dirty. Do NOT scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If you can, gently place the tooth back in its socket or store it in a cup of milk and head for the dentist (with the tooth) immediately.

If you break a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean and apply cold compresses on your face to reduce swelling. Go to the emergency dentist immediately.

Treat a bitten tongue or lip by cleaning gently with a cloth and applying cold compresses to reduce swelling. If bleeding is heavy or doesn't stop after a short time, seek immediate treatment from a hospital emergency room.

The key to successfully reattaching a tooth is to get it reimplanted in the socket as soon as possible. With each minute that passes, more of the cells on the root of the tooth die. If possible, rinse the tooth with water only, then reimplant the tooth at the site and hurry to a dentist as quickly as possible. The tooth should be picked up by the crown only and must not be allowed to dry. The best chance for success is reimplantation within the first 30 minutes, with chances still good for up to two hours. It may be necessary for your dentist to do a Root canal treatment one to two weeks after the tooth has been stabilized.

Permanently lost teeth, whether they've been removed by a dentist or accidentally knocked out, should be replaced. This is to avoid problems such as difficulty chewing and speaking, a shifting of position among remaining teeth, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders caused by chewing on the side with more teeth, and a weakening of the jawbone. Options for replacing lost teeth include bridges, dentures and implants. 

Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack (fracture) or break. This can happen in several ways:

Biting down on something hard
Being hit in the face or mouth
Having cavities that weaken the tooth

When a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. However, your tongue usually feels the sharp area quite quickly. Minor tooth fractures usually don't cause pain, but if a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt. That's because the nerve inside the tooth may be damaged. If it is exposed to air, or hot or cold foods or drinks, it can be extremely uncomfortable.

Pain from a broken or cracked tooth may be constant or may come and go. Many people feel pain when they chew because chewing puts pressure on the tooth.

What You Can Do

Cracked (Fractured) Teeth Dental Emergency

There is no way to treat a cracked tooth at home. You need to see your dentist. Sometimes the tooth looks fine, but it hurts only when you eat or when the temperature in your mouth changes (because you drank something hot or cold, for example). If your tooth hurts all the time, it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. This is a serious warning sign.

Broken Teeth Dental Emergency

If you have a broken tooth, see your emergency dentist as soon as possible. Your emergency dentist can figure out if the break was caused by cavities, and if the tooth's nerve is in danger. A damaged nerve usually will require root canal treatment.

What Your Emergency Dentist Will Do

Fractured Teeth Dental Emergency

There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks, each of which requires different treatments. These include:

Minor cracks — Also called "craze lines," these are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Minor cracks rarely need treatment. However, your dentist may lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots.

Cracked tooth — This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces remain in place, but the crack gradually spreads. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with filling material. The tooth often will need a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If the pulp (nerve and other live tissues) is damaged, you may need a root canal as well.

Chips — Minor chips don't always need treatment. Your dentist may suggest repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting worse or to make the tooth look and feel better. If the chip is very small, the dentist may polish and smooth out the chipped area.

Broken cusp — These breaks affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps) of the teeth. They usually do not affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause much pain. Your dentist may repair the damage to restore the tooth's shape. Frequently, however, an onlay or crown will be required.

Serious breaks — These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always cause the tooth to hurt and be sensitive. Usually, the broken part of the tooth will bleed. You will need root canal treatment to remove the exposed nerve and probably a crown to restore the tooth to normal function so you can eat and chew properly. 

Split tooth — This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Some teeth, such as your back teeth (molars), have more than one root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots, which will then be covered with a crown. First, you will need root canal treatment. Second, the dentist will remove any roots that cannot be kept. Third, you will need a crown to cover the root and replace the tooth. In some cases, when a root cannot be saved, the tooth will have to be removed.

Vertical breaks or split root — These cracks start in the root of the tooth and extend upward toward the chewing surface. These breaks are often painful because the area around the root may be inflamed or infected. In most cases, the tooth will have to be removed. 

Decay-induced break — In this case, the tooth has broken or crumbled because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. Your dentist will evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In some cases, if the decay is extensive and goes down to the bone,the tooth may have to be removed. 

Fillings are materials used to fill cavities in the teeth. Crowns cover the tops of damaged teeth. Sometimes, fillings or crowns fall out. In some cases, a filling or crown may come loose because there is decay underneath it. The decay destroys part of the tooth, so it no longer has a tight hold on the crown or filling

Don't wait too long. What is left of the tooth will not be as strong as your crown. It could be damaged more without the crown to protect it. Also, when a crown is missing for a long time, your teeth may move into the space where the crown was. If this happens, your crown may no longer fit.

Decay may change the shape of your tooth. Usually, this means that your emergency dentist will need to prepare the tooth again to ensure the new crown will fit. If the crown does not fit securely, it will come off again.

If you lose a filling, your
emergency dentist will remove the decay and place a new filling.

Keywords: 24hrs Dentist, Dental Emergency, Dental Emergency Service, Dentist Emergency Service, Emergency, Emergency Dentist, Emergency Service, Weekend Dentist, Wisdom Teeth Removal,

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