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When Is a Cracked Tooth Considered a Dental Emergency?
Unsure whether a cracked tooth is a dental emergency? Read on to learn whether to seek emergency treatment for a cracked tooth. If you have suffered a dental emergency like a cracked tooth, it is advisable to visit a dentist immediately for oral care. Depending on the nature and extent of the crack, the dentist will recommend a few options to fix the tooth. The key is visiting the dental office on time. Delaying treatment can cause severe pain, infection, or further damages that may lead to tooth extraction.
A cracked tooth as a dental emergency
The teeth are the strongest part of the body, but they are vulnerable to fracture and breakage. When a crack is so deep that the tooth nerves become exposed, the person will experience severe pain and tooth sensitivity. There may also be some bleeding. The damage may require a root canal procedure to remove the nerves, and dental crown placement to protect the tooth.
If the break is vertical, beginning from the tooth roots and extending to the crown, it will cause significant pain since the root portion may become infected. The dentist will often need to perform a tooth extraction. The crack may be due to the presence of decay around the area. In such situations, removing the decayed part might be an effective solution.
Another dental emergency could be when the whole tooth is cracked, with the breakage extending from the chewing surface to the tooth nerves. The tooth may remain in one piece, but the crack will spread gradually. Applying a dental filling may be enough to preserve the tooth’s structure, but a dental crown will usually be necessary.
A tooth can crack due to causes like severe decay or large fillings, chewing on hard items, teeth grinding, trauma, and age. Regardless of what caused the crack, the dentist can recommend the most appropriate solution to restore the tooth’s condition. A visual examination is usually done to ascertain the cause of the crack. The dental professional may apply a dental dye to check the extent of the damage. Gum inflammation is a visible sign of a cracked tooth, but an x-ray may also be done.
Repairing a cracked tooth
The dentist may perform treatment immediately or recommend antibiotics to eliminate infection first, depending on the patient’s case. The treatment option depends on what caused the cracked tooth. Some of the repair options include dental fillings, root canal therapy, antibiotics, dental crowns, or, when saving the tooth is impossible, tooth extraction.
A cracked tooth can present itself in different forms, and each of them should be treated as a dental emergency. Visiting the dental office promptly will help improve the chances of saving the tooth. Even if the tooth cannot be saved, the dentist will provide relief from pain and ensure there is no additional damage to the tooth and the oral cavity.
Prepare for a dental emergency
When you are faced with a dental emergency like a cracked tooth, visiting the dentist will help alleviate pain and discomfort and restore proper oral health. A fractured tooth may not always hurt, but it needs to be checked as it can become the pathway for bacteria that cause infection.
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