Fractures on a tooth may not be visible in the mouth, and in some cases may be difficult to see on a dental x-ray. In this situation, the dentist will use diagnostic tests and information from you regarding your symptoms to verify whether or not a tooth is fractured. For this reason, you should pay attention to the circumstances that illicit tooth pain such as chewing, biting, eating sweet foods, air exposure, or eating or drinking hot or cold food and beverages. This will allow you to relay this information to your Santa Clara area dentist.
In other instances if a large portion of a tooth or filling has broken off, the fracture and the need for a dental emergency visit is obvious. A fracture on a tooth may slowly grow until a larger area of the tooth structure breaks. For many people this happens while eating. The fracture opens and closes each time a person bites down. A severe fracture can even cause the roots of a tooth to split. This worst case scenario usually requires an extraction. If the fracture is located in an area that is impossible to restore, an extraction may also be needed.
When you come for your dental emergency appointment, the Santa Clara area dentist will let you know if this is the case, and go over tooth replacement options with you. Many dentists feel that an implant is the best option for patients in good health. An implant will very closely mimic a natural tooth. If an implant is not possible, a fixed bridge or partial denture are additional options.
A fracture that reaches the pulp of the tooth may require a root canal to save it. Many people cringe at the sound of the words “root canal.” The reality is root canals are actually very routine procedures that are in most cases no more traumatic than having a large filling done. After the dentist numbs the tooth, he will clean the roots of the tooth. Files and other materials are used to remove the nerve and blood vessels from each root. After the roots are thoroughly clean to the desired length, the roots are filled along with the area used to access the tooth.
A tooth without nerves or blood vessels can become brittle which may cause it to break easily. This is like a broken tree branch that has dried up. To protect the tooth from breaking, a crown is prepared and placed over the coronal portion of the tooth. There are many types of crowns available. A lot of people select tooth colored crowns that match their teeth.
During your dental emergency appointment, the Santa Clara area dentist will thoroughly explain your treatment options and a treatment plan will be given to you that includes an estimate of your out of pocket cost.
Dr. Antonious, who is located near Santa Clara, has many years of experience in dentistry. If you think you are experiencing a fractured tooth dental emergency please contact his office at your earliest convenience. Because of his extended hours he can accommodate a variety of schedules. Putting off the repair of a fractured tooth may result in additional damage to the weakened tooth.