The simple answer – right away. The more complicated answer – it depends. In most cases, your East Meadow emergency dentist will be able to see you on the same day you call at Drs. Scannell & Hollinger, Inc. A broken tooth is a serious problem, and the longer it is left untreated, the greater your risk for additional dental damage and complete loss of the tooth. We are always here to help whenever patients need us, and we encourage you to contact us immediately if you’ve experienced a dental emergency like a broken tooth. Late at night, early in the morning, weekends – even if we’re not in the office, you’ll receive instructions for how to get in touch with a caring member of our team.
At-Home First Aid & Pain Management
If you experience a dental chip, crack, break, or fracture, the first step you should take at home is to try to remain calm. Take a few deep breaths and try to assess the situation accurately. Retrieve any large pieces of the tooth that have been displaced. Clean out your mouth by gently swishing warm water around the damaged tooth or teeth. Use bright lights and mirrors to take a good look at the damaged tooth. Then, give us a call. You’ll have an accurate description of the current state of your tooth, and we’ll help you with further first aid steps you can take. If you’re in pain, use over the counter pain relievers as instructed, and apply an ice pack at twenty minute intervals.
Maintaining Oral Health
Our goal is always to partner with patients to keep their natural teeth whole and healthy for a lifetime, and following a broken tooth, the sooner we can repair the damage the better. Left untreated, a broken tooth can damage the surrounding or opposing teeth. If there are sharp parts of the tooth, the soft tissue may also be damaged. In order to ensure we’re able to preserve the maximum amount of natural tooth structure, your emergency dentist and team need to get started on the restoration process right away. Some of the ways we repair a broken tooth to full form following a break include:
- For very minor chips, we may be able to apply a composite resin (tooth-colored) filling to replace the lost structure, but this is only effective for very small breaks.
- Cracks can often be refilled with composite fillings, and we may recommend a dental crown, if the tooth has been seriously compromised by the crack.
- Vertical breaks and large fractures may be repairable, if there is at least one root that remains anchored to the jaw. In these cases, we are able to attach a dental crown to the remaining tooth root recreating the lost structure.
- In the most severe cases, we may need to extract and replace the tooth, but we offer a wide range of tooth replacement options to ensure the complete restoration of even the most severely damaged teeth.