Just because your tooth is only cracked, it does not mean that you should treat it as a serious problem. The damage may not be clear to see, but a crack or chip could lead to bigger problems soon. The quicker you visit an emergency walk in dentist, the quicker the problem will be cured. A chipped tooth or lost crown when not treated will only lead to pain and regret. The damage could get worse, and what is an easy issue to deal with at the beginning, can become a big problem.
Once you are aware of the emergency cracked tooth, it will be time to make an appointment. You will need to undergo treatment right away and this will include having x-rays taken and a complete examination will be made. Not all chipped teeth are painful but if it is in your case, there is no reason why you cannot take painkillers. It will be best to ensure it is something generic such as aspirin.
Until the tooth has been dealt with by a dental specialist, you need to protect it as much as possible. This will mean eating soft things and even then, not using that tooth to chew. Another way to protect it is to eat warm food and drink tepid drinks. Anything too hot or cold will be uncomfortable at best and excruciating at worst.
If you are lucky
The best-case scenario will be a small chip. This will give you better options when it comes to the treatment that can be carried out in a dental office. The options include: –
- Cosmetic correction – basically the chip will be smoothed over.
- Repair – this will be the most likely option when it is a broken or cracked tooth.
- Replacement – this is going to be needed when the tooth that is damaged has either been filled, or is a veneer.
- Tooth knocked out – this is going to open a brand-new can of worms as there are again options.
Steps to take when a tooth is knocked out
Just because the tooth is totally out, it does not mean that nothing can be done with it. If it is treated gently, there is the chance that it can be put back in. The root should be protected, and so should the gum. Infection is the one thing that will put a spanner in the works and put the whole operation at risk even if you choose to be treated in an emergency dental clinic.
When a tooth has fallen out, it could be dirty and again infection will be an issue. The tooth must be cleaned, and water may not be good enough. Keep fingers away from the base and rinse it in milk. Failing that, use contact lens cleaner if you have any. Whatever you do, don’t try to clean it with a cloth as this is more than likely going to make things worse rather than better.
Adults may be able to keep the tooth in the mouth and use saliva to disinfect it. It is vital that the tooth remains moist, so try and ledge it between the gum and cheek. Obviously, a child will not be able to do this as there will be the risk of it being swallowed, so they should leave theirs soaking in a cup of milk or failing that water.
Partly knocked out
When the tooth is still attached, even if it is just by the slightest of threads, there is a good chance that it can be saved. If the blood supply is intact, less painful and intrusive treatments can be carried out. Again, it is going to need a swift visit to the dentist as once the tooth is loose, even the slightest of knocks could bring it out totally. Painkillers can still be used, but be careful as when the tooth is loose, there could be a knock that will not be felt since the gum and surrounding area is immune to pain. If there is not time to do that, try and get something to use as an ice pack and get to the dentists as soon as you can. If you are at home when this happens, you should be aware of the location of the nearest dental clinic, and be able to get there in good time.
Losing crowns and fillings
There is a risk that when this happens there will be an infection and other times, the crown or filling is lost because of infection. When the infection eats away at the tooth it is easy for the crown or filling to fall out. Although this is not an emergency in the same way that a lost tooth will be, it has its own issues. When part of the nerve is exposed, the pain will be a lot greater than when the enamel loss does not go that deep.
It is worth remembering that without the filling or the crown, the remainder of the tooth will be vulnerable. It will not be as strong or as firmly rooted into the gun. This means that it could start to fall apart, or could move, causing problems for the teeth next to it. Cosmetic dentistry costs are not prohibitive so there is no reason not to get treated when you need it.
Any damage to the teeth, mouth and gums should be taken seriously and medical treatment will be needed if: –
- There is excessive or long-lasting bleeding
- There is an infection starting
- There is any swelling in the mouth or neck
If I was concerned I would go straight to the closest dentist office and hopefully there will be someone qualified in cosmetic dentistry near me. It is no good believing that everything will be alright, and it is “only a tooth” as it will be easy to regret the decision in the future. There could be additional pain when bacteria creep in or a large bill if the tooth needs to be replaced.