When Is A Broken Tooth Considered An Emergency?

April 15, 2024
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A piece of your tooth just fell off, but there is no pain; quite strange, isn’t it? While the lack of immediate discomfort might seem like good news, it is important to know whether this situation is a dental emergency or not.

Tooth Fell Off, Is It An Emergency?

A broken tooth is considered an emergency if the break is severe, resulting in significant pain, bleeding, or the risk of infection. Your tooth may be loose, dislodged, or completely knocked out, necessitating attention from a dentist immediately.

What To Do If You Have a Broken Tooth?

Start with:

  1. Assessing the Extent Of Your Damage
    The initial step is to assess the extent of your damage. Grab a mirror to check the length of your tooth broken off and whether the remaining is loose or dislodged. If the tooth is bleeding, bite down on a clean cloth or gauze to stop the bleeding.
  2. Managing Pain and Swelling
    Managing pain and swelling is not difficult as you can take OTC (over-the-counter) pain medications for relief. Options like ibuprofen or acetaminophen work well in this regard. Other than that, press a cold pack to the affected area for about 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling.
  3. Finding the Tooth Fragment
    If a piece of the tooth has broken off, try to find it and bring it along to your dentist’s appointment. Make sure to rinse off the broken fragment gently in water, stored in a small container with milk or saline solution.
  4. Seeking Dental Care
    It is necessary that you get in touch with a dentist as soon as possible to prevent more damage. The treatment for a broken tooth depends on the severity of your condition, the extent of break, etc.

How Can Dentists Help?

They have the following treatment options available:

  1. Root Canal
    If the damage has reached the innermost layer of your tooth, i.e., your pulp, a root canal treatment can fix the issue. Your dentist will remove the infected pulp, clean and shape the canal, and then fill it with a rubber-like material. They may also seal it if the need be.
  2. Crowns
    In case the tooth’s integrity is compromised, a crown may be put to cover the broken tooth and hold it together. They are custom-made caps that fit and encapsulate the entire tooth, restoring its function and appearance. They are made from materials like porcelain that mimic real teeth.
  3. Dental Implants
    In some cases, the tooth is severely damaged, and salvaging it is not possible. This is where extraction is done and then replaced by an implant to replace the missing tooth. The implant has a small titanium screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone. Once bone-screw fusion is successful, a crown is placed over it.

Closing Note

If a piece of a tooth fell off because of small chips or cracks, treatment with dental bonding or a filling is possible. On the other hand, larger tooth breaks require a crown, root canal therapy, or dental implant.

If you have more questions in mind regarding the procedures we offer, feel free to contact our experienced team led by Dr. Vikram Shad, doctor of dental medicine from The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and Dr. Avni Goel from Temple University in Philadelphia at Insight Dental Group to guide you through everything we have in store for you. Reach out to us at (713) 623-0700 to request an appointment today.

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