What is the difference between broken, cracked, and knocked out teeth?
A broken tooth often occurs from biting down on hard surfaces, such as candy, popcorn kernels, or ice.
Cracks are hard to see. A sudden, sharp toothache when you bite down that goes away quickly, and suddenly sensitive to hot and cold drinks, it’s probably cracked.
Untreated cracks can lead to pieces of your tooth breaking off. This breakage can compromise the integrity of the tooth, lead to decay, and cause severe pain. A broken tooth must be treated quickly to avoid the need for a root canal.
Teeth can be knocked out from strong impacts to the face. This is why wearing a custom mouth guard when playing contact sports is recommended. If you have missing teeth, the nerves and blood vessels can be damaged, and it is possible for bone loss to occur. A root canal will be needed to prevent permanent tooth loss and repair the damage.
I have a cracked or broken tooth. Now what?
- Rinse with warm water to clean the area.
- Place a cold compress to your cheek
- Call us right away.
My tooth got knocked out. What should I do?
- Missing teeth must be handled with care. Avoid touching the root to prevent more damage.
- Make sure to keep the tooth clean. If it’s dirty, you can hold it by the crown (the upper part of the tooth – not the root) and rinse with milk. If you don’t have any milk, you can rinse with water. Don’t try to dry it because you could damage the root.
- Try to put it back into the socket. This is a great way to keep it moist. Make sure it’s facing the right way and don’t try to force it in.
- Keep your tooth moist. If it won’t slide back into the socket, place it under your tongue or between your cheek and gums. If you happen to have tooth preservation kit, make sure it has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Call us!
I followed your advice. What happens now?
Once you’re at our office, we will take a look at your tooth and diagnose the issue. We may need to take x-rays. Depending on your needs, we may restore the crack or break, or remove the tooth.
Replacing a missing tooth can be a simple process. Often, we can rinse the socket to remove debris, and put the tooth back in place. This is most successful when it’s done within one hour of the tooth being knocked out.
A root canal is needed due to damage to the nerves and blood vessels. This process could be done right away, or later on, depending on your circumstances.
At Providence Dental North Las Vegas, we commit to giving you the best care, and tailoring the process to meet your needs.