Treating a Shattered Tooth
Teeth are strong. They bite through hard taffy and apples, carrots and well-done steak. They’ve often
doubled as scissors, slicers, can openers, and every other tool known to man.
But unfortunately, they are not in fact a universal tool. They are not quite that strong. And if you chose
to push the limits (or just have an accident) you’ll find out the painful way that teeth are not invincible.
Teeth chip, break, fracture and shatter more often than you’d think. In case this ever happens to you
(based on your own stupidity or the fault of others) you’ll want to know how to deal with it so you can
save that beautiful mouth of yours.
Chips, Breaks, and Shatters
Chips and breaks are usually more serious than fractures. Why? This is because when pieces of your
teeth break off, it could expose the living tissue and nerves beneath the hard outer shell. That translates
to pain. And often infection.
When the pulp of your tooth gets exposed, bacteria can quickly get inside and infect or kill the tissue of
the tooth. Left untreated, this could lead to wider-spread infection, expensive treatment, loss of the
tooth, and lots of unnecessary pain.
If you chipped or broke your tooth,
this is what you do:
Save any chipped
off/broken off pieces of
tooth if you can.
Rinse off the chips in
water and store in wet
Rinse your mouth with
warm salt water (this will
help prevent infection)
Stop any bleeding with gauze and cold water
Cover the broken tooth with paraffin wax or sugarless gum
Go immediately to the dentist
Phew. It’s quite the list, but all necessary if you want to minimize damage, pain, and expenses.
More subtle injuries are typically fractures. This is when the outer layer of your teeth cracks. Nothing
breaks off, and it can begin as a small, painless crack that you don’t notice. However, over time, under
pressure, the fracture can grow in depth and severity, eventually exposing the sensitive tissue beneath.
If you do notice a fracture, try to get it taken care of by a dentist as soon as possible. Save yourself some
pain and money by treating it early. If you begin to feel pain or notice a crack, treat it like you would a
chip or break and get to the dentist!
There are several ways teeth can be fixed. Sometimes all it takes is a small filling or bonding to “fill in
the gap” and reinforce the surface of the teeth. For more cosmetic reasons, you might get a dental
veneer – which acts kind of like a fake fingernail, except for your teeth. And much more durable.
For more serious breaks, your cosmetic dentist in Sandy, UT might use a crown or cap, which basically
replaces your outer layer of tooth with a strong, tooth-shaped cap. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to
undergo a root canal (ouch, and yikes) or lose your tooth completely.
So don’t delay! If you damaged a tooth, even a little – go see your cosmetic dentist in Sandy, UT today!