Experiencing a dental injury can be upsetting and in some cases devastating. However, the good news is that if you have a cracked, fractured, split or broken tooth, it may be possible to save it. When it comes to knowing what to do with a broken tooth it’s important to remember that the faster you act, the better the outcome is likely to be.
The majority of dental traumas result from sporting injuries or an accident of some type. Typically, the most common injuries we see are chipped teeth. Knocked out or dislodged teeth are less common. However, should you find yourself in this situation, you should know that this is a more severe issue and one that must be dealt with correctly at the time, or it could lead to serious repercussions.
If you have suffered a dental injury and are not sure what to do, then here are some tips to minimise the damage as well as the pain.
Schedule an appointment with an emergency dentist
While it may appear that your injury is not that severe it’s important to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. It may not be obvious but your neighbouring teeth could also have suffered trauma. By acting fast, it helps to avoid further damage or infection to the tooth, which may result in extraction in extreme cases. It also helps put you out of pain and saves treatment, time, and money.
At Southport Park Family Dental, our team are well-trained in saving damaged teeth wherever possible so the sooner you book an appointment, the more likely we’ll be able to help you.
What to do with a broken tooth?
If you have a broken tooth, the best thing to do is seek emergency dental care. But until you can get to your emergency dentist here are a few tips to help you alleviate the pain.
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm water
- Use a clean piece of gauze or clean handkerchief rolled up to apply firm pressure to any areas that are bleeding. Gently bite down on the gauze or handkerchief and continue to bite down until the bleeding subsides.
- Take over the counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen to relieve the pain
- If your lip or cheek is swollen and/or painful, apply an ice pack or pack of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth to the outside of your face. Don’t make the mistake of placing anything cold onto the broken tooth or it could cause you more pain.
- If your damaged tooth has a jagged or sharp edge, to avoid damaging your cheeks or tongue, try covering it with sugarless gum. Try and avoid eating, but if you must do so, then eat on the other side and stick to soft foods.
What to expect when you visit your emergency dentist?
The treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your injury. Your dentist will give you a thorough oral examination to determine the best treatment to help repair your teeth.
If just a small piece of enamel has been chipped it may be treated with a tooth-coloured filling. If a front tooth has taken the brunt of the damage, then dental bonding may be a preferred treatment. This involves layering on tooth-coloured composite resin (the same as we use for fillings), shaping it, and hardening it to restore your tooth to its former glory.
If there is substantial damage or you have a broken tooth, it’s more likely to be restored with a dental crown. This involves removing the damaged portion of the tooth and capping it with a crown to provide protection, strength, and aesthetics.
Does a broken tooth always cause pain?
No, not always. A minor tooth fracture won’t usually cause pain and the only warning you’re likely to get is if your tongue comes into contact with a sharp edge. A broken tooth may cause inconsistent or constant pain or you may just feel pain when you chew.
For this reason, you should always contact Southport Park Family Dental for an examination if your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold or feel uncomfortable when you eat. Constant pain could be an indication that damage has occurred to a tooth’s nerve which could mean more extensive treatment such as a root canal.
So, to recap on what to do with a broken tooth
- As with any dental injury, it’s always best to seek emergency dental care as quickly as you can.
- Your emergency dentist will get you out of pain and assess the problem to determine the best course of action to take.
- The success of any dental repair boils down to how quickly you can get to see your dentist once the injury has occurred.
- We have a team of highly trained dentists and dental nurses to help give you the best chance of saving a natural tooth.
Here at Southport Park Family Dental, your emergency is our emergency, so don’t delay. Call us on 07 5655 7688 and we’ll do all we can to fit you in asap.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.