Tooth Trauma (Part II of IV)

If a front tooth has been chipped in a fall, and there is no telltale red dot in the center of the tooth indicating an exposure of the nerve, then immediate treatment is not necessary. It’s likely that the tooth would be very sensitive to cold, so cool liquids are best to be avoided. The tooth could also be painful to chew on. It is usually best to wait until your dental visit to rule out root fractures before attempting to chew on a traumatically chipped tooth. The teeth could also ache so a pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties would be most helpful. Ibuprofen tends to work the best. Over-the-counter preparations come in 200mg tablets, so an adult could take as many as four tablets, for a total of 800mg per dose to stay comfortable. Once at the dental office, the dentist will x-ray the teeth, check for root fractures, and check for loose or displaced teeth.

X-ray of Root Fractures

If the root is fractured, the tooth may or may not need to be removed. It depends on where the fracture is. The closer to the end of the root, the better the chance that the tooth could be saved. If there are any teeth that are loose, they may need to be splinted in place. This would be just like placing a cast on a broken arm to allow for undisturbed healing.