It is quite common to chip or break a tooth. Sometimes, you may damage a tooth due to a fall, or a sports injury. Other times, you may break or chip a tooth by simply biting down on something hard, like a candy or ice. But, perhaps you do not know what to do if you break or chip a tooth. It is not always clear what qualifies as a dental emergency. So, how do you determine if you should seek emergency attention after chipping or breaking a tooth? Read further as we discuss whether or not a broken tooth is an emergency.
Understanding What is a Dental Emergency
A dental emergency would require seeing a medical professional for help. If you need immediate attention, it is best to try and schedule a same-day appointment. And, if you cannot get a same day appointment, you can try to go to a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. This is a way to get medical treatment while still waiting to see the dentist. So, what qualifies as a dental emergency? If you find that your mouth is bleeding excessively, if you are experiencing severe pain, or have lost a tooth that is considered a dental emergency. A broken tooth, however, may not require immediate dental care. If you simply chipped your tooth, and you are not experiencing acute pain, just discomfort, then scheduling a dental appointment may be enough. A chipped tooth is not a threat to your immediate health or overall well-being. If you are experiencing some pain, it can be managed by over the counter medicine until you can see your regular dentist. A small chip will more than likely be smoothed out by your dentist. For a broken tooth, the dentist may have to fill in the space with a composite material that matches your teeth. Remember that a broken or chipped tooth, while not always an emergency, still should be treated sooner rather than later. If left too long without treatment, you could cause further damage to the tooth or mouth.
How to Treat a Broken Tooth Before You Seek Help
If your mouth is bleeding, try rinsing with warm water and applying pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. You can apply an ice pack to stop your face from swelling. Do not take over the counter medicine like aspirin because it may increase the bleeding. And, if your tooth was knocked out completely, rinse it under warm water. Then, store it in saline solution or milk as you transport it to your dentist. Your dentist can determine from there if the tooth can be saved. So, when deciding if a broken tooth qualifies as a dental emergency remember that minor chips or slight breaks can wait for a regularly scheduled appointment. If you lose a tooth, or fracture is big and there is more than moderate pain and bleeding, then it is an emergency, and you should take action immediately.