Broken Tooth – Is It an Emergency or Not?

Have you ever had that sinking feeling after biting into something soft and chewy and feeling something hard and crunchy instead? You’ve chipped or broken a tooth, but what should you do next? First try to assess the damage by determining whether it’s a chip or a whole tooth.

As Dr. David Hennington will tell you, a broken or chipped tooth is usually not a dental emergency unless you are experiencing a great deal of pain or bleeding, but you should contact us for an appointment shortly afterward. Be sure to mention that you have a broken tooth so we can fit you into our schedule quickly. After a thorough evaluation, we’ll recommend a course of action. If it is a small chip, we may simply smooth it out. For a larger break, the dentist may fill in the space with a composite material that matches your other teeth.

Emergency Dental Care

If you are in severe pain, are bleeding excessively, have a major break, or have lost a tooth, that is a dental emergency and you should contact us. As emergency dental specialists, we’ll be able to schedule an appointment immediately and advise you on the next steps to take.

You can rinse your mouth with warm water and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. An ice pack will help reduce any swelling. Do not take any aspirin as that could increase the amount of bleeding. Should your tooth be knocked out completely, rinse it under running water but do not scrub it. Hold the tooth only by the crown, or the part you normally see above the gum line, not by the root. If you can, put the tooth back into the socket while you travel to our office, or put it in a mild salt solution or milk. Don’t let the tooth become dry, because this can lead to damage. Once you get to our office, our dentist will determine whether the tooth can be saved or if it will need to be replaced.

A broken tooth may not always be an emergency, but it’s best to have it treated with us at Trade Winds Dental. While it may only be a cosmetic problem at first, if left too long without treatment, you may experience further damage to your tooth and mouth.

The Advantage of Philips Zoom Whitening

Today, we thought we’d talk a little about Philips Zoom whitening at Trade Winds Dental. Philips Zoom, a professional teeth whitening treatment, gets your teeth an average of eight shades whiter in just one hour at our convenient Georgetown, TX office. It is a great way to enhance the appearance of your smile.

With Dr. David Hennington, Philips Zoom is safe, simple, and relaxing! Not only that, but Philips Zoom is championed by dentists and patients from coast-to-coast as a pain-free process.

After three 15-minute applications within one hour, your treatment is complete, leaving you with a brighter, whiter smile. It’s that easy!

Please give us a call to schedule an appointment for Philips Zoom whitening.

You Broke Your Tooth – Now What?

You may have bitten down on a hard food or object, or perhaps you had a cavity that weakened your tooth. Either way, your tooth is now broken, and the steps you take to care for it will determine whether you get to keep your natural tooth or not. Millions of people suffer from broken teeth every year, so you are not alone. However, that does not mean your newly cracked tooth does not need immediate attention.

What is a Broken Tooth?

A broken tooth is one that has been fractured, chipped, cracked, broken apart, or completely knocked out of the mouth. You may or may not feel your tooth break, depending on the extent of the break and whether your tooth was decaying prior to the break. It is usually very easy to diagnose a broken tooth, because the evidence will be visible. In the case of hairline cracks in the teeth, you may start to note a sensitivity to hot or cold in the neighborhood of the fracture.

The Right Way to Handle a Broken Tooth

As soon as you know your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, make an appointment to visit our emergency dental office. Even the tiniest fractures require attention: bacteria can infect the fractured area, which could cause you to lose the tooth altogether.

Until you are in our office, you can manage your pain using over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol, or you can apply a cold compress to prevent swelling and inflammation. Be sure to rinse your mouth with warm salt water after every meal until you are able to visit us.

Keep in mind that while pain medication is an effective way to manage a broken tooth at home, it is only a temporary fix. Broken teeth should not be treated solely at home, and over-the-counter solutions are not substitutions for professional dental care. Failing to make an appointment with Dr. David Hennington after breaking or chipping a tooth can place your health at risk.

Treatment

Treating your broken tooth will depend on the type of break you have and how much of the tooth is affected. According to the American Dental Association, a minor chip or tiny fracture line may be repaired with bonding. On the other hand, a more serious break that exposes the tooth’s pulp may require a root canal or extraction to prevent infection. Ultimately, our team here at Trade Winds Dental will explain to you the best treatment plan based upon our evaluation of the condition and extent of your break.

If you have broken, cracked, chipped, or fractured one or more of your teeth, don’t hesitate to contact our office immediately. We specialize in emergency dental care and are available to serve you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Smile! June is National Smile Month!

Can you believe it’s already June? Today, Dr. David Hennington and our team at Trade Winds Dental thought we’d tell you June is National Smile Month, and remind all our patients to practice good oral hygiene between your visits to our office!

Below are a few simple steps you can take to improve your oral health so that you may celebrate National Smile Month for many, many years to come:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit Dr. David Hennington every six months, or as recommended

If you have questions about any of these tips, we encourage you to give us a call, ask our team during your next visit, or ask us on Facebook!

Should you have your teeth polished?

A few words from Shermance!

As most of you know, I am selective on my polishing, both on who needs it and on which teeth.  I try to explain to each person the reasons behind this, but when I saw the article on polishing published by the Texas Dental Hygienists’ Association, I knew I had to share!  Hope this helps you with your decisions to polish or not.  Thank you for your trust in me!

I have always been amazed at how the field of dentistry continually evolves and improves for the benefits of patients. It’s true – from treatment techniques to our technologies and instruments, the many different areas within oral health care never cease to become more advanced, effective, comfortable, and beneficial! This is because patients always come first, and as we learn new ways of improving their care, so our field as a whole is improved.

We often find that what we once thought beneficial and helpful for patients may turn out to no longer hold true. For instance, in the past, tooth polishing was considered an integral piece of a patient’s complete cleaning procedure. In fact, many patients believed that to have their teeth polished was to have them cleaned!

In today’s more advanced dental field, this is no longer the case! A good deal of study has shown that polishing is seen as a “cosmetic procedure” that “is not necessary for the maintenance of oral health or prevention of oral disease.”

Further, because of its abrasive nature, regular polishing can actually lead to a diminishing of the ever-so-important enamel that naturally protects your teeth! This means that polishing can actually increase your risk of further oral health problems – and this is precisely the last thing we want for you at Trade Winds Dental.

It is important for me to make sure our patients know that there is no real benefit to polishing, aside from helping to remove very heavy stains, and that the procedure can be harmful over time. Of course, a great way to avoid the conversation altogether is to remind our patients how important good brushing and flossing is for their teeth!

We are always here to talk to you more about great oral health techniques, and what we are doing to improve the care you receive each and every time you come to see us – please don’t hesitate to ask!