Our South Charlotte Emergency Dentist Explains What to Do if You Crack Your Tooth

added on: January 7, 2020

Maybe you bit down on a popcorn seed. Maybe you fell down the stairs and hit the deck face-first. Whatever the cause, having a cracked tooth can be scary, especially if it occurs during a time when most dentist offices are closed. However, it’s important not to panic. Our South Charlotte emergency dentists are available 24/7 and may be able to save the tooth. While you wait for your appointment, here’s a general idea of what you can expect. 

Assessing a Broken Tooth 

Your dentist’s first priority will be assessing the damage to your tooth’s nerve. If the tooth’s root is damaged, you will likely have to receive a root canal in order to remove it. If the root is undamaged, treatment will vary according to the type of tooth fracture.  

Chipped Teeth

Minor chips usually do not require emergency treatment, but if the chip is jagged and you risk cutting your tongue or causing further damage, you should call an emergency dentist just in case. Chipped teeth are usually restored with composite resin bonding material. 

Split Teeth

A split tooth is one that has split vertically, like a piece of firewood. In order to save the tooth, your dentist will first determine which parts of the root can be saved. (Some teeth, like the molars, have multiple roots.) The dentist will remove any roots that cannot be kept with a root canal and cover the tooth with a crown. If the tooth is still painful, it may require an extraction. 

Broken Cusps

The cusps of the teeth are the pointed chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. Since cusp breaks usually do not affect the tooth’s root, they typically do not cause much pain. However, you may want to repair the damage to restore the tooth’s shape and ensure easier chewing. Sometimes an onlay or a crown will be recommended.  

Serious Tooth Breaks

Serious tooth breaks run deeply enough to expose the nerve. Needless to say, they are very painful. If you have suffered a serious tooth break, you will most likely require a root canal and a crown to restore the tooth to its normal function. 

Vertical Breaks or “Split Root” 

Unlike most tooth cracks, vertical breaks develop in the root of the tooth and move upwards. In most cases, the tooth will need to be extracted. 

Park Cedar Dentistry is a Charlotte dentist office serving residents in Ballantyne, South Park, Concord, and beyond. If you have experienced a cracked tooth and need to schedule an appointment, click here to fill out our easy appointment request form

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