Your Options When You’ve Broken a Front Tooth

broken front tooth

Photo by Matt Janicky fm Flickr

There are few more traumatic injuries than experiencing a broken front tooth. Breaking a front tooth will hinder your ability to articulate properly, affect how you eat, and impact your self-esteem, causing embarrassment over your altered appearance.

It’s important to keep in mind that timely, informed decisions need to be made immediately after breaking a front tooth. Unfortunately, many of us have only heard the old wives tales and don’t have any solid information to work with.

These misconceptions can often put your health at risk. Just to clarify, and give us a firm grip on reality, understand the following:

The Current Status of Your Broken Front Tooth

First of all, we’re discussing trauma-related injuries, not decay-related issues. While breaking a tooth may sound like a pretty straightforward injury, there are actually several degrees of injury that can be suffered, each with their distinctive symptoms and treatment strategies.

Loose Tooth

If you should be so unfortunate as to take a hit to the mouth, a tooth may become loosened as a result. You may experience some bleeding and mild to moderate pain in the affected area. Your tooth has technically suffered a concussion.

It’s dangerous to assume that, because your tooth is only loose but still intact, you’ve escaped serious injury. There is a risk that damage has occurred that you are unable to see initially.

Seek medical attention and evaluate the condition of your loose tooth as soon as possible. Depending on how hard you impacted, there may have been damage done to the root, or even jaw penetration; both require treatment as soon as possible.

Broken Tooth

Breaking a tooth, when it involves the loss of a significant portion of the tooth, often exposes roots and pulp, potentially subjecting you to moderate to extreme levels of pain. Left without treatment, the injury can result in infection and swelling, even a painful medical emergency situation. It probably won’t take much encouragement to get you to the dentist should complications arise.

Your Tooth was Completely Knocked Out (Tooth Avulsion).

Dental avulsion, or when a tooth has been knocked out, will be the messiest of these injuries. If there is excessive blood, apply pressure as with any other wound to stop the bleeding. Seek medical attention if the bleeding dosn’t stop within 30 minutes.

Should you rescue the piece of tooth, protect it by placing it in milk, saliva or water, whichever is handy, and get to a dentist. Don’t try to clean it or touch it in any way, just deliver it to your dentist.

Oral Emergency situation– What to Expect at the Dentist

In the majority of emergency situations the dental professional will take X-rays of the afflicted location to discover the extent of the damage, then produce a treatment strategy for short-term and permanent solutions, based on the results of the examination.

Each scenario varies, but if the tooth can be saved, the dental expert will generally make the attempt. If the front tooth is broken then it might be secured to the teeth on either side, keeping it steady while it recovers. For an avulsed tooth, the dental professional may find it effective to attempt to reinsert the tooth. If this is successful, it’s the best case, however, expect a few subsequent visits for the dental practitioner to keep an eye on your tooth while it heals..

If the broken front tooth can not be saved, the medical professional will discuss your options for short and long term tooth replacement alternatives. These might consist of a bridge, crown, partial denture, or implant.

Seek Help Right Away

Your tooth is not going to recover by itself, so it is critical to consult your dentist as quickly as possible, immediately after the injury occurs would be best. Ignoring it can lead to an infection or the possibility that a partially-damaged tooth would have to be entirely removed rather than repaired.

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ABOUT DR. KATHRYN JODRY, DDS:
As one of the premier Dentist In Richardson Tx, Dr. Jodry provides affordable dental care, cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry restorative care in Richardson, Texas and the surrounding areas. Call us today at: (972) 235-6752 or Email: kjodrydds@yahoo.com

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