It is important to know what to do if you break or damage a tooth. Even though they are common, a dental injury can be painful and upsetting. Fortunately, modern dental treatment can return your smile to normal if you get the appropriate care as soon as possible. While teeth are harder than even the bones in your body, they are not immune from damage from biting down on something hard or from an accidental blow to the head.
If a tooth has been damaged by a traumatic blow to the head, it is a good idea to get checked out at an emergency room—particularly if there’s any dizziness, disorientation or you have lost consciousness. If only a tooth is injured, you may be able to wait until the next day (or longer) to see a dentist.
If you have chipped a tooth, the appropriate treatment will depend on how much of the tooth has broken off. A small chip isn’t usually an emergency and can often be repaired with dental bonding. This involves layering on a durable, tooth-colored material to restore the tooth’s shape. Dental bonding is relatively simple procedure that can be completed in one dental appointment. This procedure can also be used to repair a tooth that has cracked above the gumline and has not exposed the pulp.
A larger chip or crack that has not exposed or damaged the tooth’s pulp is a more involved fix and may require a veneer or crown (cap). A chip (or fracture) that has exposed or damaged the tooth pulp will probably be painful, and should be treated as soon as possible. This type of damage to a tooth will almost certainly require a crown, along with root canal treatment.
If the tooth has completely broken off at the gum line, it most likely cannot be repaired and will have to be extracted. If this is the case, your smile can still be beautifully restored with a permanent dental implant or natural-tooth bridge.
If you have broken or damaged a tooth you can call us at (647) 794-1108 to help.