Having a chipped tooth can be a worrisome issue for a couple of reasons. Seeing this may be embarrassing and hamper your self-esteem, but it can pose health risks too. Not treating this type of damage can lead to further cosmetic and health problems. The dentist can suggest multiple options to repair this damage and…
Signs a Chipped Tooth Is a Dental Emergency
A chipped tooth sometimes requires emergency dental care. The severity of your injury determines if you should head to a dentist immediately or if you can wait a couple of weeks for a regular dental appointment. Common ways you might end up with a chipped tooth include falling down, cavities weakening a tooth until it breaks, trauma to the face, or biting down on hard things.
Figuring out if your chipped tooth requires emergency dental care
The first thing you should do when you notice a tooth has been chipped is to evaluate if a chunk of the tooth has completely broken or if the damage only affects one area of the tooth. Partial chips typically do not require immediate care unless they are accompanied by a severe toothache or bleeding. Any injury that leads to a large chunk counts as a dental emergency.
So do serious breaks or chips caused by tooth decay, damage that splits the tooth in two, and injuries that split teeth roots. People with such severe damage should head to the nearest dentist. Besides the excruciating pain caused by such issues, teeth become more vulnerable to infection as a result of the injury.
Here are some of the treatment options a dentist might explore when a patient comes with a severely chipped tooth:
1. Root canal
If damage to a tooth is severe enough to count as a dental emergency, the dentist might recommend root canal therapy. The procedure is done to clean out the nerve and soft tissues in the tooth’s pulp chamber when damage to a tooth leaves this normally sealed-off area open. If left untreated, bacteria in the mouth will infect these soft tissues.
Local anesthetics are used to numb the area being worked on so patients do not feel much besides the dentist pushing on the teeth during the treatment. A hole is drilled into the tooth so the contents of the pulp chamber can be extracted. Medication is inserted into the hole to prevent infection and the tooth is sealed up with a rubbery type of filling called gutta-percha. Dentists often recommend covering teeth that have been treated with a root canal with a crown to prevent further breakage to the tooth. Depending on the tooth’s location, the dentist might be able to restore it with composite bonding instead of using a crown.
Dentists typically recommend extracting a tooth when the damage to it extends below the gum line. At that point, saving the tooth is no longer an option. The tooth can be extracted and replaced with an oral restoration like an implant. The implant replaces the lost root of the extracted tooth, preventing the bone tissue loss that usually takes place when a person fails to replace a missing tooth.
Get emergency dental care
Dealing with a severely chipped tooth that is accompanied by lots of pain or bleeding? Head to our Bakersfield location for emergency dental care.
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