A broken tooth is more than a cosmetic issue. When the outer layer of a tooth is compromised, bacteria can enter the inner pulp and cause a potentially serious infection. Left untreated, the infection could even become systemic. These risks make tooth breakage an emergency. Here is a look at tooth breakage, how it can be treated, and what steps you should take until your appointment at our dental office in Houston.
Saving broken teeth
Although broken teeth sometimes require extraction, they often can be saved if they are treated promptly. In cases where a large piece breaks off of a tooth, keeping the piece in the inner cheek until treatment also is essential for possible reattachment. Waiting until an infection develops is likely to make more treatment necessary and may eliminate the possibility of saving the tooth.
Types of Broken Teeth and Treatments
The more extensive the break, the more intensive the procedure to fix it will generally be. A crack or fracture characterizes the mildest type of broken tooth. Part of a tooth may also break off, with the size of piece broken off ranging from a small portion, to half or more of the tooth. The break may even extend into the root. Whereas bonding may suffice for treating mild breaks, root canal, crown placement, and extraction are potential solutions for more severe breaks.
What to Do Until Your Appointment
You can take certain steps to minimize pain and inflammation while you wait for treatment. For example, you can hold ice against the affected side of your face for about fifteen minutes at a time. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can also quell discomfort. Rinse with warm salt water regularly to help prevent infection and reduce swelling. Finally, you can place a piece of sugar-free gum over the broken tooth to help protect it temporarily.
A broken tooth needs fast treatment for the best chance of being saved. Recognizing the seriousness of tooth breakage as a dental emergency is critical to having the best outcome for your health and appearance. By contacting Dr. Nazari, you can learn more about how broken teeth are treated at our Houston office.
Copyright 2015. Antoine Dental Center. All Rights Reserved.