It's easy to go into panic mode when you suddenly break or chip one of your teeth. While it's important to get to a dentist as soon as possible for broken tooth repair, you may have to wait a few hours before an appointment is available. During that time, you need to focus, relax, and use this guide to help you get through the first sixty minutes.
First Ten Minutes
When your tooth breaks or chipped, the first thing you should try to do is capture the broken part of the tooth. While this part will likely not get reattached, it serves as a guide for dentists forming bonding procedures. During the procedure, a dentist will use resin materials to reform your tooth and make it solid again. Having the reference point will help keep your tooth repair as accurate as possible. If you've swallowed the part of the tooth, then it will digest normally. A dentist can then use pictures for reference points if needed.
Next, check your mouth for any damage. Jagged tooth edges may cut your tongue or the inside of your cheek. Use a cotton ball to apply pressure to any cuts and help reduce bleeding.
Ten to Twenty Minutes
Once the tooth piece is recovered and mouth examined, it's time to make the dentist appointment. Call local dentists that accept your insurance and are open to emergency appointments. If the incident occurred during the weekend or night, listen to the automated message for any information on emergency services. It's also a good idea to find local dentist websites. Many dentists have direct contact options through social media or email addresses.
After contacting a dentist and getting an appointment as soon as possible, you should examine the tooth again. Check the gum area around the tooth for any swelling. If there is swelling, take a single piece of ice and gently rub it on the gum. This will reduce swelling and help prevent infections.
Twenty to Thirty Minutes
Now it's time to protect the tooth and the rest of your mouth from further damage. A broken tooth will typically have no pain, but the edges could cause dramatic problems for the rest of your mouth. If you own a mouth guard for sleeping or sports, then it's a good idea to wear it for a while. This will protect your tongue, cheeks, and gums.
If you do not own a mouth guard, you have the option of purchasing a temporary one or using a piece of sugar-free gum. Move the gum around in your hands until it forms a small ball. Gently push the gum into your tooth and wrap it around until it fully covers the broken piece or crack. Avoid pressing down on the tooth and stretching the gum out until you can get to your appointment.
Thirty to Forty Minutes
Consider the types of meals that you want to eat. If the crack is on either side of your mouth, then you need to take small bites and chew on the opposite side of the mouth. Avoid overly chewy meals. Soft options like potatoes and pastas are ideal until the tooth is repaired by a dentist.
If the damaged tooth is near the front of the mouth, try to drink only liquids. You can create shakes to add more nutrition to the beverages. If multiple teeth have broken, then try to avoid eating as long as possible.
Forty to Sixty Minutes
Getting past the rest of the first hour should be easier with the previous steps in place. Until the dentist appointment arrives, you should try and distract yourself with activities that are not overly physical. Read a book, play a game, go for a walk, or browse the internet. Try to avoid looking up health websites and let the professional dentist take care of your problems.
Once you get past the first hour, panic will likely subside as you get used to the tooth and your appointment comes closer. Breaking things down and planning ahead can help relieve a lot of the stress you may have. For more information and tips, contact a local dental clinic like Maplewood Dental Associates, PA .