Los Altos Dental Emergency – Fractured Tooth

A fracture that occurs on a tooth may or may not be visible. When the fracture causes a large portion of the tooth to break the problem is obvious, but not all fractures are that easy to identify. Microscopic fractures may be more difficult to detect. Throbbing, aching, swelling and sensitivity to temperature may be symptoms of a fractured tooth. The discomfort may become worse when biting down or may be spontaneous.

To experience relief as soon as possible, a dental emergency visit should be scheduled promptly. If left untreated, the fracture may get larger and jeopardize the long term health of the tooth. Diagnostic equipment, in most cases, will be used to conclusively determine whether or not a tooth has fractured.

Dr. Antonious has been serving the Los Altos community for many years. He invites any patient suffering from a fractured tooth or any other dental emergency to contact his office for treatment. This includes patients both young and old. Once your dental emergency has been resolved, you are welcome to schedule additional preventative, restorative, and cosmetic treatment for you and your family.
A fracture may occur from extensive decay, a fall, an accidental hit to the mouth while playing, or from a blow received during an auto accident. The expansion and contraction of silver amalgam fillings may cause fractures on teeth that have been restored with this material.

Bruxism, the habit of grinding or clinching the teeth is also responsible for many tooth fractures. Los Altos residents who know or suspect that they clinch or grind their teeth should be fitted for a protective guard that is worn either on the top or bottom teeth. Protective guards can also be made to be worn while playing sports.

A tooth that has previously had a root canal may become brittle and more susceptible to fractures. A crown may help to protect and strengthen it.

Additional ways to protect teeth from fractures include avoiding opening bottles or objects with the teeth. Extremely hard candy, ice, nuts, and seeds should be avoided or consumed with caution.

Once a tooth is already fractured there are several options available to restore it. During your dental emergency exam, the dentist will determine and discuss with you the best option. This will be determined in large part by the location of the fractured tooth and extent of damage.

If the fracture has damaged the nerve of the tooth, the blood vessels within the tooth and the nerve will need to be removed. This procedure is called a root canal. A large filling called a buildup and a crown will serve as final restorations for the tooth.

Severe fractures may necessitate the removal of the tooth by a Los Altos area dentist. Once the extraction site has healed, the missing space can be restored with a dental implant with a crown attached, a bridge, or a partial denture. An implant closely mimics a tooth root, preserves the surrounding bone, and is in many cases the most ideal option for replacing a tooth.

Los Altos patients who are suffering with the effects of a fractured tooth should not delay their dental emergency appointment. This may cause additional damage to the tooth.