Fractures and Extractions
Auto accidents, falls, or sports injuries are a few of the reasons that teeth may become fractured or broken. It is important for patients to seek immediate evaluation from an emergency room if there has been trauma to the head, neck, or face. Teeth can also become fractured due to wear and tear, large cavities, or even chewing on hard objects.
In the absence of head or neck trauma, patients can come into the office to be evaluated for dental issues such fractures or knocked out teeth.
Tooth fractures can range from minor to severe. In order to detect how deep the fracture reaches, x-rays will be necessary.
Severe tooth fractures that extend past the dentin to the pulp chamber of the tooth need to be treated immediately. If there is damage to the gum, the dentist may temporarily bond the tooth to the adjacent tooth during the healing process. Root canal therapy may be needed to help save the tooth from extraction.
If the fracture extends down to the tooth root, the tooth may become loose. In these cases, extraction may be necessary. If the dentist has to perform a tooth extraction, a restoration such as a dental implant or bridge may be necessary.
If the fracture extends through both the enamel and dentin, prompt treatment is necessary. Patients may experience increased sensitivity. These types of fractures leave the pulp susceptible to bacteria, which can lead to infection without treatment.
Minor fractures that only chip at the enamel layer of the tooth may be treated with a dental filling or crown. Because the risk of injury to the pulp chamber is small, urgent treatment is not necessary. Patients can put a piece of dental wax or sugarless gum on the chipped area of the tooth to protect it until they can make it in to the dentist.
Back to Oral Surgery Page