Great. You just accidentally broke off part of your front tooth. Now what?
First of all, if you can find the piece of tooth that has broken off, immediately put it in a cup of water or milk. It’s very important that you don’t try to clean the tooth off, as this can damage microscopic structures of the tooth.
Next, call your dentist immediately. If it’s after hours, leave a detailed message letting them know exactly what happened and that you’ll be waiting next to your phone for them to call back. If the office is open, head there right away bringing with the broken piece of tooth with you.
If possible, your dentist will bond the broken tooth portion directly back onto your damaged tooth. This isn’t always an option, but in many cases it can be done depending on the severity and size of the break. If the broken portion can’t be bonded back in place, then your dentist will talk to you about restorative options to repair the tooth (not to mention correct any concerns about appearance.) Again, these treatments will depend on the severity and size of the fracture. Some people only need a small bonding placed on the tooth, while others may need a crown or even a root canal. Root canals are typically only needed when the break has reached the inner nerve chamber of the tooth.
Over time it’s important to see your dentist for regular visits, so that the tooth can be monitored for long term damage like tooth death. This may happen quickly, or take several years before symptoms even begin to exhibit themselves.
Posted on behalf of Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
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