Dental emergencies like a broken or knocked out tooth require urgent attention. Visit your dentist immediately to avoid possible advanced nerve damage and excruciating pain.
It only takes a split second for a dental emergency to occur. Whether it’s a car accident, a sports injury, or from biting down too hard on a piece of candy, a tooth can break or be knocked out before you even realize what happened. How you react will determine whether the tooth can be saved, so it’s important to act fast. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, there is a dentist in Little Rock that will fix a broken tooth or offer solutions for teeth that have become accidentally knocked out.
Is it Serious?
A broken or knocked out tooth should never be ignored, as the seriousness of the injury can only be determined by your dentist. The pain range can be mild to considerable, depending on the type of break. Badly damaged nerve endings in the tooth may be exposed and can produce intense pain when you eat or drink hot and cold foods. Postponing care is never a good idea, since the tooth could be damaged further.
What Should I Do?
If the tooth is completely knocked out of the socket and can be retrieved right away, avoid touching the tooth’s root after an accident. Instead, handle the tooth by the crown (the part of the tooth that normally sits above the gum line) and bring it with you to your dentist as quickly as possible. Either put it under your tongue, or transport it in a small container of whole milk. For the best chances of successfully re-implanting your tooth, you should see your dentist within an hour.
In the case of a broken or cracked tooth, a deeply-spread cavity may the reason the tooth broke and the nerve or blood vessels may be damaged. Your dentist will be able to evaluate the damage and make a recommendation for treatment. A root canal is the standard procedure for a damaged nerve, and with today’s modern dental technology, this treatment is virtually painless.
Until you have your post-injury dental consultation, try applying a cold pack the painful area. This will help reduce inflammation and swelling. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever, especially if you need to get through a night of sleep before your appointment.
What Will the Dentist Do?
At your appointment, the dentist will take X-rays and evaluate the complexity and risks of replacing or repairing the tooth. Much will depend on whether the break is in the tooth alone or if it has spread to the bone. If the tooth was knocked out and has been retrieved, the tooth socket will be cleaned and the tooth slid back into place. It will take three to four weeks for the root to reattach to the bone, with the healing time becoming extended if the bone was fractured as well.
A broken tooth may just be a minor chip that can be cosmetically repaired will a filling, but a severely broken tooth will bleed and cause other problems. This occurs when the nerve is exposed and must be removed through a root canal and restored by a crown so that normal eating and drinking can be resumed. If deep tooth decay exists because of cavities and tooth breaks, the teeth will have to be removed and replaced with an implant or bridge.
Because of the serious implications of a broken, chipped, or lost tooth, it is pertinent that you immediately turn to your dentist for treatment when a dental emergency strikes. Arkansas Family Dental provides several emergency services for those who require immediate assistance, so contact us to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Little Rock that will fix a broken tooth.