From Reattaching Crowns to Tooth Extractions, Only a Dental Professional Can Provide the Proper Care
Our teeth are some of our best friends – they help us eat, they help us speak, they support our jaw bones, and they give us our greatest asset: our smiles. But try as you might, you can’t prevent everything. Your teeth aren’t indestructible (if they were, we wouldn’t need emergency dentists) and no one can foresee every situation. Sometimes, bad things just happen, and you unexpectedly break a tooth, or even a crown or filling. In such an event, even if it doesn’t hurt, you should still seek dental treatment as soon as you can.
Teeth can break for any number of reasons. Sudden blunt trauma to the jaw, undiagnosed structural weakness, and even just simply biting something a little too hard at the wrong angle can all cause cracks, chips, and breakages in your teeth. Any restorative work, like veneers, crowns, onlays, or fillings are subject to the same risks. In such an event, contact an emergency dentist immediately. Depending on the nature of what happened, you may be able to put off treatment, but only your dentist can make that distinction. If you need an immediate tooth extraction or other procedure, the longer you put it off, the worse it may become.
If the incident that lost you your tooth potentially caused other damage—for example, you hit your head, and hard—then you need to prioritize. If you are at risk for a concussion or other injury, visit an emergency room at a hospital first, and seek dental care after. That tooth extraction and repair can wait if a potential brain injury is on the table.
If you’re waiting for an appointment, your emergency dentist might recommend certain things you can do to prevent further damage in the meantime. While it’s great to follow these directions, it is absolutely imperative that you do not, under any circumstances, try to treat your broken tooth at home. There is a reason there’s no market for DIY dentistry – only a trained professional should ever attempt these things. Don’t use any tools or sharp objects in your mouth, don’t attempt an at-home tooth extraction, and definitely never attempt to glue or cement broken teeth or crowns back together. These may seem like great ideas when you’re trying to do something about the pain, but they will only worsen the problem in the long run.
One Last Thing
Sometimes a blunt trauma to the jaw doesn’t break a tooth, but actually causes it to come clean out of the jaw, roots and all. If your lost tooth is completely intact, it may be possible to reattach the tooth. To help increase the odds of a successful implantation, rinse the tooth off immediately with clean water, and then soak it in a glass of cow’s milk (just don’t accidentally drink the glass – yikes). With any luck, you may be able to keep the tooth!