A broken tooth can happen to anyone. An errant baseball or a car wreck might leave your mouth shattered. But most people do not prepare for such a situation, so they are wildly shocked when it happens to them.
But knowing a few simple steps can give you a significant headstart in dealing with this crisis. And maybe just as important, the knowledge may give you a little more sense of calm in the storm than you normally would have. Being able to keep a level head can be very helpful in these instances.
Today, your Livonia, MI dentist walks you through what you should do if you have broken your tooth.
Err On The Side Of Caution
Before we go any further here: if you feel your injury might be life-threatening, go directly to the emergency room. Your immediate health is most important in any situation.
Beyond dental work, the ER is equipped with all the necessary tools for traumatic injuries. Some people who live in more rural areas might need to use this option, as well, if outside dental hours.
Make sure that you are examined by a doctor for any injuries of the head or neck, as well. Sophisticated imagery like x-rays and CAT scans are available there, as well.
And if you cannot control the bleeding in the mouth, an emergency room is the safest course of action. If necessary, they will even be able to administer transfusions..
I’m Safe. Now What?
Assuming this event does not require a trip to the emergency room, it’s time to take stock of the situation. Take a second to breathe, as increased anxiety may cause missteps.
Firstly, gather as many pieces of tooth or surrounding tissue as you possibly can find. The more recovered material that you find, the more tools the dentist has in recreating your smile. Rinse these off in clean water to try to limit bacterial growth.
If your tooth fits back in its socket, wash it off, then place it back. Try to maintain it in its natural location until you see a dentist. If this is not possible, a cup of milk or saltwater is the best way to transport these items. Note that plain water can actually do more damage to the tissue, so avoid that.
Maintaining limits on bleeding is important, as well. Find a clean piece of cloth and bite directly down on it. Cotton gauze is ideal, and it is a good thing to keep in your home for all emergencies.
Next, get to the dentist as quickly and safely as possible. Speed increases the likelihood of dental success and expands the options available to patients. The mouth heals quicker than most parts of the body, so any action on the teeth succeeds at a higher rate when sooner.
ABOUT YOUR LIVONIA, MI, DENTIST:
James Stewart, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, MI, as well as Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Garden City, Westland, Redford, and the surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.