If you've suffered a blow to the face or some other accident that's resulted in a cracked tooth, you should know that you ought to get help right away. Time is of the essence in conditions like these and it can mean the difference between a minor fix and a major one. Here's what you can expect when you see your dentist for your cracked tooth, along with some advice.
One of the things you should do before going to the dentist is to be prepared. If you have it, bring the portion of the tooth that broke off with you. Your dentist may be able to utilize it.
While you're waiting for help, make sure that you avoid chewing on the surface of the tooth, and don't use a straw, as it can create suction in the mouth that can damage the tooth's inner surfaces. Most importantly, get help as soon as you can.
Once you've arrived at your dentist's office, there are a couple of different routes that they might take to treat your tooth. Here's a look at both.
If the crack to your tooth is minor, or shallow, chances are the dentist will be able to repair it in one of two ways. They can either reattach the part that broke off, if it's in one piece and viable, or they can fill the crack in with a dental filling. This process usually takes very little time and can be accomplished without the need for Novocaine or other pain relievers. Though, of course, if you're in pain, let your dentist know — they'll help you by providing you with a pain reliever.
If the crack in your tooth is large or deep, a root canal will likely be necessary. This is because the inner pulp of the tooth is likely exposed by the crack. This part of the tooth is extremely vulnerable to developing cavities and infections, and it may already be damaged by the crack itself.
Root canals remove this inner pulp and any other damaged tissue from the tooth. Then, the tooth is put back in place and a crown is placed over it to repair the crack. By repairing your tooth this way, you get to keep your original tooth so that you don't have to worry about having a gap in your smile and needing a replacement for that.
Having a crack in your tooth is something to be worried about, but you don't have to be worried about the care you'll receive for it. Get to a dentist right away to get the help that you need so that your tooth can be protected.
For more information about treating dental trauma, contact a dentist.