• Dr. Johnson Ozgur

Dental Emergency - What if I break a Tooth

Whether it is bleeding or just painful, a broken tooth meets the definition of a dental emergency.


What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is any dental issue that requires immediate medical attention to relieve severe pain, stop bleeding or save a tooth. A broken tooth poses several health risks over time when left untreated. It increases the risk of life-threatening infections. If you feel your well-being is in immediate danger, you may be experiencing a dental emergency. But every broken tooth does not require immediate treatment. Some incidents are less time-sensitive, so they fall under urgent dental care. Whether your broken tooth is an emergency or urgent dental care, you’ll need to act quickly to reduce risks and save the tooth.

Here are tips and best practices to help you handle and overcome a dental emergency.


I have a dental emergency? What should I do?

Whether it is a broken tooth after a root canal, chipped tooth, toothache, or pain from a dental crown, your first call should be to your Toronto dentist. Here are some tips to follow if you have a dental emergency:


1. Broken or cracked tooth.

There is a thin line between a cracked or broken tooth. If your tooth is cracked, rinse your mouth with warm water and use a cold compress to bring down the swelling. Visit or call your dentist as soon as possible. To prevent further damage, don’t apply any pressure on the cracked tooth. It can widen the crack or break off. The first sign of broken teeth is dental pulp sticking out. The risk of broken tooth infection is high because the dental pulp is exposed. If part of the tooth breaks off, rinse it with water and save it. Do everything you can to protect your broken tooth from infections. Then, rinse your mouth, apply gauze to stop any bleeding, and go to your Toronto dentist right away. A broken tooth after a root canal is also a dental emergency. Whether your broken tooth is painful or not, visit your dentist ASAP!

2. Toothaches.

Tooth pain is a dental emergency. But first, rinse your mouth with warm water. Press a cold compress on the cheek outside your mouth to suppress gum swelling around the affected tooth. Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can relieve the pain until you get your Toronto dentist.


3. Oral diseases and infections.

Gum disease, tooth infections, and other oral issues can affect your mental, social, and physical well-being. If you’re experiencing any of these dental problems, you’ll urgent dental care. An infected tooth is painful enough to undermine your quality of life.


4. Tooth loss.

What should you do if your tooth is knocked out or falls off? First, rinse the tooth in water. Don’t scrub it! You can also preserve it in a cup of fresh milk. Then, go to your Toronto dentist right away.


5. Lost filling or crown.

Without a filling, your tooth’s root canal is exposed to bacteria and other pathogens. Use over-the-counter dental cement or a piece of sugarless gum as temporarily filling, then visit your dentist. If your dental crown falls off, call your Toronto dentist as soon as possible. Don't eat anything to prevent further damage. You can apply some clove oil on sensitive teeth.


If you lose a tooth replacement or break a tooth during regular business hours, visit your Toronto dentist. Broken teeth may require urgent or immediate dental treatment. Basic health insurance policies don’t cover dental emergencies. These services are expensive if you don’t have dental emergency coverage.


Can you go to the emergency room for a dental issue?

Yes, you can. If you have a dental emergency outside business hours, you can go to ER or urgent care centre. But ER is reserved for life-threatening oral injuries. The dental issue must meet the definition of a medical emergency. If you’re bleeding after breaking a tooth, ER staff can stop the bleeding. They can help with fractured or broken teeth. But you’ll have to visit your dentist for further treatment.


Is an infected tooth considered a medical emergency?

Severe tooth infections are life-threatening and meet the definition of a medical emergency. A single infected tooth can infect your gums and healthy teeth. If left untreated, the infection can spread beyond your mouth. If you have a bacterial tooth infection, ER staff can treat the infection with antibiotics.


Can you go to the ER with a toothache?

A toothache may indicate a more serious underlying dental problem and should be taken seriously. However, not all toothaches require emergency dental care. You should go to urgent care if you have tooth pain. If you’re experiencing a severe toothache, ER staff can relieve the pain. Then, you'll have to contact your dentist for further dental treatment. Toothaches don't occur for no reason, and they won't disappear magically. If you have a toothache, visit your Toronto dentist as soon as possible.

How do dentists fix broken teeth?

Dentists use general dental care and cosmetic dentistry procedures to address emergencies and urgent dental problems. The most common broken tooth treatments include dental crowns, dental implants, dental bonding, and ceramic veneers. If part of a broken tooth is missing, your dentist can use a fiber post for structural stability. Metal posts can also help repair broken teeth or severely damaged teeth. Then, they’ll rebuild the tooth around the fiber or metal post. This broken tooth treatment is viable if the root is intact. If a broken tooth is irreparable, your Toronto dentist will perform tooth extraction and recommend dental implants. The implant placement process can take longer if you need a bone graft. For example, you'll get brand new replacement teeth to restore function and aesthetics. Your dentist will evaluate restorative dental treatments and procedures to save natural teeth. Dental bonding, dental crowns, and porcelain veneers can help repair a chipped tooth. Your dentist can use temporary crowns and ask you to come back after a week or two for permanent crowns. Porcelain veneers are ideal for addressing minor tooth chips. You’ll need more than tooth-colored veneers to repair a broken tooth with a jagged edge.

The last thing you need is ineffective broken tooth treatment to exacerbate the situation. To prevent further damage and avoid unnecessary risks, choose the right dentist to repair your broken tooth. If you have a dental emergency, Toronto Smile Design Clinic is only a phone call away.

Why Toronto Smile Design?

Dr. Johnson Ozgur is a Toronto Dentist with a Master's Degree in Oral Surgery. He has years of experience in General and Cosmetic Dentistry. Whether your dental emergency is broken, chipped, or infected teeth, Dr. Johnson should be your first call. He is experienced in porcelain veneers, dental implants, root canals, dental crowns, and more. For professional emergency dental care, contact us today!

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