Chipped, Broken or Cracked Tooth
Have you ever chipped your tooth on a teacup or drinking glass? Maybe your tooth was chipped during a fall? If you find yourself in one of these situations, your dentist has the tools necessary to conceal the chip quickly and effectively with composite bonding. Bonding can be tinted and painted or molded onto the tooth to correct the loss of tooth.
At Sherwood Park Dental, we encourage our patients to locate the fragment of tooth and bring it with them to the dentist. In some cases, the dentist can bond the fragment back onto the tooth with bonding material. While chips can be unpleasant, they do not require you to see an emergency dentist in Sherwood Park.
A chip occurs when a small portion of the tooth and enamel is broken away, but the majority of the tooth remains intact. When chips are large enough to become breaks, the portion that falls away exposes the tooth’s nerve chamber and causes pain.
When a tooth is broken open it requires a same-day dentist for emergency dental treatment. Exposure to the air will continue to cause significant pain until an emergency dental extraction or root canal is performed by an ER dentist.
Finding an After-Hours Dentist
Performing a google search for “emergency dentist near me”, “walk-in dentist near me”, “walk-in emergency dentist” or “Sunday dentist near me” (for example) will produce a list of potential clinics nearby for emergency dental care. If there is no 24-hour emergency dentist in your area, you may need to head to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Cracks most often develop in teeth with large fillings when the structure is overwhelmed. This typically happens when chewing, when you suddenly feel pain searing deep into your jaw. Cracks continue to be painful to use, since any pressure placed upon it will further encourage the crack.
A cracked tooth should be seen by a dentist as soon as possible – but not urgently. The concern with cracked teeth is that cracks invite food and bacteria into them and can cause severe infections. If your tooth is cracked deep into the root socket, your dentist will have no choice but to recommend an extraction, since dangerous infection is likely to set in. Small cracks can be resolved by performing a root canal of the tooth and adding a crown to the tooth to reinforce its structure.
In order to perform the root canal, your dentist will freeze your tooth with local anesthetic and then will remove the tissue in the inner chamber of your tooth. Once the nerve is removed from the tooth, there will be no pain in the affected area. Then, your dentist will thoroughly clean and sanitize your inner tooth before filling it with gutta percha (dental rubber).
Once the root canal has been performed, the tooth will not have the structural integrity it needs to bear the biteforces needed for the human diet. A custom crown is made in the same size, shape and colour as your natural tooth and cemented over the prepared (etched) natural tooth. The crown will be strong and will not be susceptible to decay.
If your tooth must be extracted, your dentist will likely offer you the option of a replacement bridge. This refers to a false tooth that is anchored to neighbouring teeth on either side. These false teeth will pass the test to anyone around – your bridge will look so natural that it will be virtually indistinguishable from its neighbouring naturals.
Depending upon your circumstances and whether your dentist offers it, you may have the option of a dental implant to replace your extracted tooth. Dental implants require a more invasive procedure and commitment to the process. Talk to your dentist about whether this is the right decision for your oral health.
Broken Tooth Filling
If you have lost a filling in your mouth, you could feel some discomfort. Still, we do not recommend an emergency appointment. Rather, we recommend placing some chewing gum or dental wax over the area to protect it from exposure and eating on the opposite side of the mouth as much as possible.
Preventing Breaks, Chips and Cracks
Broken teeth are often the result of using them for the wrong purposes such as opening bottles or crunching open crab shells. Never use your teeth for anything other than eating foods that are safe for consumption. Very hard items, like popcorn seeds, are always best to avoid. Similarly, we recommend eating “pitted” fruit and vegetables with caution since mechanical separation means pits are sometimes missed.
If you suspect that you may be clenching or grinding your teeth at night, you may be at risk of breaking a tooth. See your dentist to determine whether an appliance may effectively protect your teeth.