What Happens If You Have A Fractured Tooth?

Did you end up fracturing a tooth and now you are not sure what to do? This dental problem can be quite serious depending on how big the fracture is and where it is located. Here is an overview of what will happen when you visit the dentist for a fractured tooth

Taking X-rays Of The Tooth

One of the first things that your dentist will want to do is take x-rays of the tooth. They want to see the extent of the damage so that they know how bad it is and develop a treatment plan. It's possible for an x-ray to show that it is a very deep crack and can cause problems later on, or that it is fairly shallow and will be an easy repair. 

Cleaning The Tooth

The tooth will then need to be cleaned up to get rid of any bacteria or debris that could be in the tooth fracture. It will be a lot like getting a dental cleaning, except the dentist will only be focusing on the fractured tooth. It involves scaling the surface of the tooth to remove any plaque or tartar that could get into the fracture. 

Repairing The Tooth

The process of repairing a fractured tooth can be quite complicated, so it is normal to use some sort of local anesthetic to make the area feel numb. This can be done by injecting a substance like lidocaine into the gums. You'll need to wait a short amount of time for the anesthetic to take effect, and then the dentist can get to work.

In the case of an extreme fracture, a root canal will be necessary to fix the tooth. You'll then have to come back to the dentist to have a permanent crown installed on the tooth so that it blends in with the surrounding teeth. However, mild fractures can be repaired by using dental bonding to seal up the fracture and prevent bacteria from getting into it. It's also possible to use a resin-filling material and treat the fracture like a cavity.

Following Up

The dentist will likely have you follow up with them to see how the tooth is doing. This may be able to take place at your next scheduled dental cleaning appointment, or it could be requested to happen sooner. This is to ensure that the bacteria was fully removed from the tooth and that the fracture is not getting worse.