Each day, people suffer from varying levels of dental trauma due to sports-related injuries, car accidents, falls, or other unforeseen events. Dental emergencies like this can occur anytime, and it’s best to be aware of what to do if one happens to you or someone close to you.
For chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth in particular, the first few hours following any incident are especially crucial as they can set the stage for how successful they will be in restoring the affected tooth/teeth back to normal health. Knowing exactly how to respond quickly in these situations will help ensure the best outcome possible, so it is important that everyone learn and understand the necessary steps.
Here are some immediate actions an individual should take when dealing with a chipped, cracked, or knocked-out tooth emergency.
Checklist for Damaged, Lost, or Broken Teeth
Step 1: Assess the Damage
The first step is to assess the extent of the damage to your tooth. If you have chipped or cracked teeth, look in the mirror to see how much of the tooth is missing or broken. If a tooth has been knocked out, check to see if the tooth is still intact or if it has broken into several pieces. If you’re in significant pain, try to determine the source of the pain.
Step 2: Rinse Your Mouth and Tooth
If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water to remove dirt or debris. Rinse the tooth itself separately under running water, being careful not to touch the root or any delicate structures. If a tooth has been knocked out, gently rinse it with water, but be careful not to scrub or remove any attached tissue.
Step 3: Control Bleeding and Swelling
If you’re experiencing bleeding or swelling, use a clean cloth or gauze to apply gentle pressure to the affected area. This should help to slow or stop any bleeding and reduce swelling. If bleeding persists or is heavy, seek medical attention immediately.
Step 4: Manage Pain and Discomfort
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, take an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If you have swelling, apply an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes. Avoid eating or drinking anything too hot or cold, as this may exacerbate the pain.
Step 5: Schedule an Appointment with an Emergency Dental Office
If you’ve chipped, cracked, or knocked out a tooth, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. In many cases, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to repair the damage. If you’re experiencing significant pain or bleeding or if your tooth has been knocked out, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Do not waste any time in these situations. Contact an emergency dental office right away.
When to Seek Emergency Dental Care
There are several situations where it’s important to seek emergency dental care right away. If you’re experiencing any of the following, don’t wait to seek help:
- A knocked-out tooth: If a tooth has been knocked out, you have a limited amount of time to save the tooth. It’s important to seek help within 30 minutes to an hour to increase the chances of saving the tooth.
- Severe pain: If you’re experiencing significant pain, this could be a sign of a serious dental issue that requires immediate attention.
- Bleeding: If you’re bleeding heavily or if bleeding persists for more than a few minutes, seek medical attention immediately.
- Difficulty eating or speaking: If you’re having trouble eating or speaking due to tooth pain or damage, it’s important to seek professional help to avoid further damage or discomfort.
- Swelling: If you’re experiencing significant swelling, this could be a sign of an infection or other serious dental issue that requires immediate attention.
Dental Procedures for Chipped Teeth, Cracked Teeth or Lost Teeth
Dental fillings are a common procedure used to treat chipped teeth or broken teeth. During the procedure, the dentist will remove any decay or debris from the affected natural teeth and then fill in the area with a material such as composite resin, porcelain, or gold. The filling helps to restore the strength and function of the tooth, protecting it from further damage.
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells of porcelain or resin composite material that are designed to fit over the front surface of a tooth. They can be used to restore cracked teeth or improve the appearance of chipped teeth.
Dental bonding is a procedure used to fix a chipped tooth or cracked teeth, as well as cover up any discoloration. They can also help smooth out sharp edges or jagged edges caused by damage. During the procedure, a white composite resin material is applied to the surface of the tooth and then shaped and hardened with a special light. The final result is a strong, natural-looking restoration.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a procedure used to treat an infected or damaged tooth. During the procedure, the dentist will remove the infected or damaged tissue inside the tooth, clean and seal the area, and then fill it with a filling material. Root canal therapy helps to restore strength and protect the affected tooth from further damage.
Dental crowns are a type of restoration that fits over the entire visible portion of the tooth. They can be used to restore a fractured tooth or broken teeth, as well as protect the tooth enamel from further damage. The crown matches the shape and color of your natural teeth, providing a strong and natural-looking restoration.
If you’ve experienced tooth loss or have to undergo a tooth extraction, you may be a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone to replace missing teeth. The implant acts as a replacement root and can support a crown, bridge, or denture to restore lost function and appearance.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Emergency Dentists
If you’ve chipped, cracked, or knocked out a tooth, don’t wait to seek help. Contact North Atlanta Family Dentistry for immediate assistance. Our team of experienced dental professionals can provide emergency dental care when you need it most.