Chipping a single tooth (or worse, a set of them) is a common dental emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Wall Street Journal correspondent Avery Johnson, sounding out with UCLA’s Division of Restorative Dentistry vice-chair Dr. Edmond Hewlett, pinpoints several scenarios that could cause teeth to get nicked or snipped:
The enamel on the edges of teeth is brittle and slivers can cleave off with the right impact, Dr. Hewlett says. Front teeth are especially at risk because they are “kind of hanging out there over the bottom teeth.” For back teeth, a big culprit is hard foods—candy or bones hidden inside food. Also, dental work can weaken teeth, making them more inclined to chip.
When your tooth gets chipped from an accident, and help from trusty dentists in Greenville, SC or other locales isn’t immediately available, what can you do? Here are a few first-aid tips.
When a tooth cracks, rinse your mouth immediately with warm water, and make sure to retrieve the broken piece, and rinse that, as well. If the area is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes, or until the bleeding stops. A cold compress to the outside of the mouth (or on the cheek or lip area near the chipped tooth) is also highly recommended. The cold compress temporarily keeps the swelling at bay, while relieving the pain. Make an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Your dentist will advise the best possible treatment for your chipped tooth, the treatment of which is managed according to a special ordering known as the Ellis classification. Minor chips (Ellis I) seldom require acute treatment; usually, only mild pain medication is prescribed. This type of injury typically needs a cosmetic repair job your dentist can perform.
Bigger fractures (Ellis II and III) require more stringent procedures. For instance, Ellis II fractures with large areas of dentin exposed require calcium hydroxide, which is used to cover up the exposed part and protect the nerves and blood vessels inside. On the other hand, more extensive Ellis III fractures (where tooth pulp is exposed) require more comprehensive treatment procedures.
You can still save your split or splintered tooth and restore it looking like new if you waste no time seeking dental help for it through your dependable Greenville, SC emergency dentist, such as Dr. Trey Kenna from Downtown Dental. People with broken teeth simply don’t have the time to lose if they want their lavish smiles back.
(Source: Chipped a Tooth? Here’s What to Do Next, Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2014)