It can happen when you least expect it; maybe you experienced an accident or injury, or have bitten down on a bone or nut shell fragment. Or maybe you’ve lost a filling, exposing a large area of your inner tooth. However it occurs, a broken tooth usually happens at the least opportune moments. Preparing for what to do when it happens can protect the integrity of your teeth.
If you have just broken a tooth and need emergency dental restoration, call our Denver, CO office immediately at 303.534.2626. Swift treatment for a broken tooth is needed to prevent infection and inflammation in the inner tooth which could require root canal treatment or extraction. Our dental staff at Metropolitan Dental Care is experienced at handling dental emergencies and will make sure you are seen by one of our dentists as soon as possible.
Dangers of a Broken Tooth
A break or crack in the surface of a tooth can expose the more delicate inner tooth structure—known as the pulp—to harmful oral bacteria, biting pressure, food and drink particles, and extreme temperatures. These outside forces can damage the pulp which holds a tooth’s blood vessels, soft tissues and nerve endings. A damaged inner tooth may not ever recover, and a root canal treatment may be needed to remove the pulp and fill in the hollow inner chambers of the tooth.
Often, when patients have a broken tooth, sensitivity, pain, and swelling will occur as the tooth’s pulp reacts to the exposure or near exposure. To relieve these symptoms, patients must see a dentist for restorative treatment.
What to Do First
When you first notice a broken tooth, take the following steps to ensure your tooth is cared for until you can be seen by one of our Denver, CO dentists:
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with a salt water solution. This will help keep the mouth clean, and prevent harmful levels or bacteria from entering the broken tooth. Continue rinsing every couple of hours until you can be seen by your dentist.
- Bite down on a clean piece of gauze if bleeding occurs. Continue putting pressure on the tooth and switching gauze pieces until bleeding subsides.
- Use an ice-pack for swelling as needed. Ice, not heat, will help reduce swelling and can also help alleviate some pain sensations.
- Take over-the-counter medication for pain relief if necessary. Always follow dosage instructions.
- Avoid chewing with the broken tooth. If possible, avoid eating until after you’ve been seen by your dentist. If you do eat, opt for soft foods only.
- Finally, if you cannot get into our office right away, cover the vulnerable broken area of the tooth with either a paraffin wax or a dental cement available at most drugstores. Our dentists can remove these temporary materials once you arrive at your appointment. This will prevent the sharp broken edge of the tooth from hurting your inner cheeks or tongue.
Contact Our Denver, CO Office
If you or a member of your family has broken or fractured a tooth, contact our Denver, CO, or Lone Tree, CO office immediately at 303.534.2626. The sooner a broken tooth is restored, the better the chances are of saving the natural tooth. Be sure to follow the instructions above until you can be seen by a member of our staff.