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General Dentist Office First Steps to Treat a Broken Tooth
A general dentist will see their share of dental injuries over the course of their career. They treat injuries as minor as chipped teeth and those that are as serious as extensive tooth fractures. This puts them in a great position to offer advice on the first step you need to take after an injury.
Advances in dental medicine enable a general dentist to repair even the most severe of injuries. Yet minor tooth injuries can still lead to tooth loss if you fail to take timely and adequate first steps. That is why a general dentist now explains how quick action improves the outcome of a tooth injury.
A dentist explains what happens when a person injures their teeth
It is safe to say that pretty much no one would injure their teeth on purpose. Still, it is possible for an individual to find themselves in a situation, not of their own making. If a tooth is subjected to stress or a blow, here are the possible injuries that could occur:
- Stress or impact can cause a tooth to come loose
- If a blow is forceful enough the tooth might fall off, either partially or completely
- A small chip only affects the enamel and may be painless
- If a larger portion of the tooth breaks off, the injury may extend to the inner tooth
- Small fractures are limited to the enamel
- Severe fractures extend to the dental pulp
If a tooth dislodges clean off its socket, the chances of reattachment are determined by the speed and accuracy of the person’s reaction. Someone who locates their tooth and cleans it with tepid water increases their chances. If the person also tries to reinsert the tooth before rushing to the dentist, they will likely save that tooth.
When a tooth breaks or fractures, the extent of the injury determines what happens next. A fracture that reaches the pulp, causes immediate and excruciating pain. There is also the very real risk of nerve damage and tooth death. What a person does soon after the injury determines whether their tooth can be saved. A timely and effective response is just as important as what happens in the dentist’s office.
First steps to take care of a broken tooth
Here are the first steps a patient should take when their tooth breaks:
- Gather the broken pieces of the tooth
- Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the injured tooth
- If the break is due to trauma, ice the tooth from the outside of the mouth
- Clean the broken pieces and place them in a clean container
- If the break exposes the inner tooth, get an emergency dentist appointment
Whether the injury only affects the enamel, or whether it extends to the inner tooth, the patient should see the dentist as soon as they can. Left unattended, an injury could develop an infection.
How a general dentist treats a broken tooth
The dentist will evaluate the extent of the damage, both visually and with medical imaging. This information helps the dentist to create a course of treatment.
Treatment will usually involve the placement of a dental restoration to reinforce and protect the broken tooth. Where possible, the dentist will reattach the missing piece of the tooth, especially if said piece breaks off with a portion of the inner tooth.
Your teeth can make it through an injury
All that is needed on your part is decisive action, which includes securing urgent care from a dentist. Our practice has you covered on both fronts. Our tips help you take care of your injured tooth before you get to our office. Give us a call or visit our clinic to get treatment.
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