What Do I Do if I Injure My Front Teeth?

Injuring your front teeth can be painful and scary. Even if you don’t chip the tooth or knock out a tooth entirely, you might still be concerned about the health of the tooth.

Teeth that have been injured might look fine initially but can become discoloured and infected over time. If you have any dental injury or trauma, it’s important to visit the dentist to make sure everything is okay.

In this guide, we will explore the options available after you damage a tooth and what steps you can take to minimise the risk of lasting damage to your oral health.

What injuries need to be seen by a dentist?

If you hit your face or jaw, it’s a good idea to see a dentist to check for damage that you can’t see. Examples of injuries that should be checked by a dentist include:

  • Injuries where your upper and lower jaw are hit together, this is quite common while playing sports

  • Cycling injuries where you have fallen from your bike and hit your face

  • Any injury where you have been hit in the face or jaw

  • Any injury where your tooth feels loose

  • Any injury where your tooth has been chipped or cracked

Save the tooth fragment or tooth

If you have knocked out a front tooth or chipped it, try to save the tooth or fragment. You can place it in a small container of milk until you can see your dentist. There is a chance they will be able to save your tooth if you can get an appointment quickly.

A knocked-out tooth can be set back in the socket and a tooth fragment can be glued back in place. This will allow you to avoid the cost associated with many dental restoration options and will also allow you to save your natural tooth.

Visit your dentist

Even if you haven’t knocked out or chipped your tooth, you should always visit the dentist after trauma to the mouth. This will give your dentist the opportunity to X-ray your mouth and check for damage to the roots of your teeth.

If there is damage to your tooth root, you might need a root canal to prevent further damage to your teeth. This might not be an immediate treatment, but your dentist will need to monitor the condition so they can intervene before it becomes painful and uncomfortable.

Damaged teeth can become discoloured over time as the tooth root dies. The tooth may become grey or black. This type of discolouration cannot be fixed with tooth whitening and you will only be able to address this with treatment such as veneers, crowns or composite bonding.

Explore restoration options

If you have knocked out a front tooth, you will likely want to address the gap in your smile quickly. The most common way to fix a gap in your smile is with a bridge. This is a false tooth attached to two crowns that attach to the top of the surrounding teeth. If multiple teeth have been knocked out, your bridge unit can include multiple teeth. For more than three teeth, dental implants or a denture.

Small chips to your front teeth could be addressed with a crown to help restore your bite and conceal the imperfection. A cheaper option would be composite bonding. This treatment uses a soft resin that is applied directly to the tooth and shaped. It is then hardened with UV light to create a strong restoration.

Another option would be to hide the gap or chip with a veneer apparatus. This could be an ideal choice if the surrounding teeth have also been damaged by the injury. The veneer will help to protect the teeth and also conceal any discolouration that might appear over time.

Can I ignore an injury?

It isn’t a good idea to ignore a dental injury, even if your teeth look fine. Injuries to the mouth and jaw can result in damage to the tooth below the surface of the gum. Without intervention, this can lead to very painful infections in the tooth root. If this happens, you’ll need a root canal treatment to address the problem. And if you ignore a tooth infection, you could lose the tooth altogether.

Even if your tooth looks fine, visit the dentist for a checkup. They will likely X-ray your teeth and jaw to look for damage. If there is damage, they might not be able to do anything other than monitor this, but awareness is better than waiting for more severe symptoms to appear.

How can Longfellow Road Dental help?

If you’ve had a facial injury and are worried about the health of your teeth, book an appointment with our team today. We can check for hidden damage and create a treatment plan to protect and preserve your teeth.

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