Broken a Tooth? What to Do
After you break a tooth, there’s always a quick moment of silence, when you try to figure out what has just happened. Then comes panic, as you realize the severity of your situation.
When in Doubt, Go to the Emergency Room
Before anything else, we want to make sure that your immediate health is safe. If you feel that your injury might be a life-threatening one, go directly to the emergency room. This also might be necessary if the time of the accident is outside traditional dentistry hours, if you do not happen to live in an urban enough environment that has specific emergency dental clinics.
It is also important to see an ER if the injury is located in an area that is more than just the mouth. Facial bone damage can be serious, often requiring plastic surgery. While the teeth might seem the most apparent injuries sustained, more significant bone damage may have occurred.
Spinal injuries are also very pressing, and if the head has been moved during the course of the trauma, it may be necessary to have sophisticated imagery such as x-rays or CAT scans done on the head for diagnosis and treatment.
Lastly, if a fabric compress will not stop the bleeding from the mouth, you should go to an emergency room. They will have the necessary tools to aid in stopping this, up to blood transfusions, if necessary.
If the injury is determined not to be life-threatening, you should first try to calm yourself down. It may be difficult, but the damage has already been done. Anxiety can only lead to missteps in handling the situation.
Initially, you will want to collect any pieces of the tooth or tissue. This is very important, as the dentist will always prefer to use as much natural material as possible. If the entire tooth is removed, rinse it with clean water, as bacteria can latch onto it quickly.
If this tooth will fit back within its socket, do so, and try to keep it in place until a dentist can see you. When this is not possible, keeping it in a glass of milk or warm saltwater is ideal. Do not put it in a cup of plain water, it can do even more damage.
In order to stop any bleeding, bite down on a clean piece of fabric. Cotton gauze is the ideal material, but if you do not have that, a clean t-shirt or similar fabric will work. You can also use paper towels or toilet paper, but they can leave bits of material behind.
Time Is of the Essence
Afterward, getting to a dentist as quickly (and safely) as possible, is paramount to the success of any procedures. As soon as a dental injury occurs, the body starts to begin to heal as best as it can, and the mouth heals quicker than almost all areas of the body.
If you have any further questions, please give Dr. Lucaci at Cosmetic Implant Dentistry Kansas City in Kansas City, MO a call today at (816)427-4018.