Saving a Tooth in a Dental Emergency

saving a tooth in a dental emergency

Dentist Recommended Steps to Saving a Tooth in a Dental Emergency

Let’s first qualify a dental emergency. The most common emergencies that come through our Burtonsville Dentist office are broken teeth, and sports injuries or accidents resulting in a severely broken or missing tooth. This is a time of heightened emotion where you are in panic mode trying to determine the best course of action.

There’s still a chance for you to save your tooth. You can have it replanted back to the gums, where it will remain useful for the years to come. By acting fast and knowing the right steps to saving a knocked-out or broken tooth.

A tooth can become dislodged for a number of reasons. It can be due to an injury that made your mouth or teeth come into contact with a hard surface. It can be due to eating food that’s too hard or tough for your tooth to handle. It can be because you’re using your teeth as a “tool,” such as to open a bottle or to open a bag of chips instead of using an opener or a pair of scissors. 

While such incidents are quite common (with millions of teeth getting knocked out among adults and children in the U.S. on a yearly basis), a knocked-out tooth should still be taken seriously and addressed with immediate care. Even if the result of trauma is “just” a crack or a chip, the resulting openings can lead to bacterial growth which can easily lead to tooth decay and infection. 

Immediate action is helpful if the tooth becomes completely dislodged out of its socket. However, there is still an opportunity to save that tooth.

Extend the life of your tooth with the following steps:

  • Bring your tooth to the Laurel, MD dentist nearest you. The ideal scenario is to get to the clinic within 30 minutes of the incident.
  • While preparing the tooth for your Dentist, make sure you are handling the crown and not the root.
  • If it landed on the ground or anywhere dirty, rinse it out gently with clean, cold tap or bottled water. Never use soap, toothpaste or any chemicals. Don’t rub or brush; just let the water rinse the foreign particles off.
  • While the tooth is still a bit wet, try to reinsert it into the socket. Using a careful but firm hold, replace the tooth into the socket or just above it.
  • Very carefully, close your mouth while gently biting down on the tooth to guide it in position.   

    Sometimes it’s not possible to place the tooth back into the socket. If this is the case, do not let the tooth, especially the root, dry out. To keep the tooth moist and keep the living cells alive for longer, you have the following options: 

  • Put the tooth in milk, in a covered container that you can take to the dentist.
  • Put the tooth in the mouth, ideally between the gum and side of the cheek to keep it stable and wet with saliva.
  • Spit some saliva into a container and put the teeth into the liquid.
  •  Do not store the tooth in tap water or wrap it in a dry cloth or cotton.

We realize losing a toot is not a pleasant situation. In fact it can be quite scary. However, do you best to remain calm, and call your Dentist immediately for an Emergency Dental Visit. Most Dentists will leave a few openings on their schedule each day in order to be available for these types of situations.

Broken Teeth | What Should You Do?

Broken TeethHow to Care for Broken Teeth  – A Laurel, MD Dentist Provides Tips

A broken tooth is always unfortunate but all you really can do is to prevent the dental situation from getting worse. Typically, a broken tooth is caused by an accident, an assault, untreated dental decay, biting or chewing unusually hard food (such as an un-popped corn kernel), teeth grinding, and a root canal therapy that didn’t conclude with the placement of a crown yet.

To prevent a broken tooth from getting damaged further, a Laurel, MD dentist has rounded up some great tips on how to care for a broken tooth below.

Pay Close Attention To Food Temperature

For superficial cracks in the enamel or craze lines, the best thing to do is to be careful with food temperature. Extremely hot and ice-cold food may lead to a real and bigger crack. You have the option to have the dentist look at it as soon as possible and be provided night guard veneers, but this really isn’t a very serious concern that demands an immediate trip to the dentist; you can wait until your scheduled check-up.

Be Aware of Sharp Edges

Chips on the edge of the broken teeth, also known as enamel fractures, can create really sharp teeth edges that can nick the tongue and lips. These need immediate dental attention so that composite resin filling or veneers can be applied. These solutions, according to a Laurel, MD dentist, will not only get rid of the sharp edge but also restore the nice appearance of teeth.

Schedule a Dental Appointment As Soon As Possible

Enamel and dentin fractures or fractures on teeth with lighter or darker components can feel like nothing for some, and sensitive for others. It’s best to make an appointment with the dentist right away so a filling can be applied to prevent infection and even the death of the teeth’s nerves. Before the appointment, make sure to rinse the broken tooth or teeth with warm water and avoid eating anything hard.

Consider if it’s a Dental Emergency

Fractured teeth with dark and red components known as enamel dentin and pulp fractures are medical emergencies. It’s imperative to see the dentist within 24 hours because of the pain and complications. This type of broken tooth requires a root canal and filling. While waiting for the appointment, avoid exposing teeth to extreme temperatures and stick to a soft or liquid diet.

Avoid Infections

Horizontal and vertical tooth root fractures are not visible, but they are very painful and can lead to infection and swelling. Care for the broken tooth or teeth by sticking to a soft diet and taking Tylenol. This situation requires urgent dental attention.

Care is basically the same for all types of broken teeth, so remembering what to do can be quite simple. If you break a tooth, you should implement the tips provided here and pay your Burtonsville dentist a visit as soon as possible if you’re unsettled about the dental issue.


How to Prevent a Broken Tooth

broken tooth

How to Prevent a Broken Tooth

A broken tooth is rarely that big a problem for many. For those who don’t care much about the aesthetic alteration, they don’t even bother to have their broken tooth fixed right away or at all. At times, they just leave it looking as it is and would only be prompted to have it fixed if it starts hurting or it becomes sensitive to pressure or contact with hot and cold food.

If you wish to address your broken tooth and you live in the Burtonsville, Maryland area we can help to reduce your tooth pain  or to restore its original appearance — and if it’s after hours, our emergency dental service can easily take care of it.

How Does a Dentist Determine the Correct Treatment?

The first thing the dentist will do is to determine the extent of the damage and what’s truly causing the discomfort. Afterwards, a corrective treatment will be executed; however, you must know that a broken tooth does not really heal. A broken or cracked tooth will not regrow; in fact, over time, the tooth can actually morph even more and become smaller, or the cracks may continue to progress and separate. The best solution available, which is the placement of a crown or porcelain veneers, may restore its original appearance, but your actual tooth will most likely wear away if exposed to the elements.

Preventing Broken Teeth

Knowing that there’s no reliable way of restoring broken teeth, everybody really should do their best to prevent their teeth from breaking or cracking. We are not just talking about wearing a face mask when playing baseball. Dr. Nicholas, Owner of Nicholas Dental Care has seen it all, and with that, he has some tips to prevent this oral problem from happening.

  • Load up on calcium to strengthen your teeth. Drink milk and consume dairy for a healthy dose of calcium each day.
  • Use fluoride toothpastes. Fluoride can strengthen teeth and make them less prone to breaking or cracking.
  • Avoid eating or breaking down ice with your teeth. Not only does the cold temperature cause sensitivity, but ice is actually very hard, especially if it’s a thick cube.
  • Avoid chewing on other hard objects like pencils or pens, and be careful of un-popped popcorn kernels. It’s going to be a battle over which is stronger — your teeth or these things — and your teeth may just not be strong enough against these items.
  • Don’t clench or grind your teeth. You may not notice the damage right away, but if you constantly grind your teeth, they’ll wear away and change shape. If you’re unaware that you’re doing it, such as when you’re sleeping, dentists advise exercising during the day or wearing a mouth guard as protection.
  • Lastly, if you’re heavily into sports, wear a mouth guard or protective mask to prevent accidental strong contact with other players that can damage teeth.

If you have a newly chipped tooth that is causing you pain or one you have a cracked tooth that you have been putting off getting repaired for a while, Dr. Nicholas is the Burtonsville MD. Dentist to help you repair your tooth.