If you experience tooth trauma that chips, cracks, or even knocks out a tooth, it’s best to get that tooth treated right away. If you don’t get restorative dentistry right away, you may experience complications related to your tooth injury that can require additional treatments later.
Complications Related to a Chipped Tooth
A minor tooth trauma may chip a tooth, knocking off a small piece of the enamel. This may not result in any complications, and, other than the cosmetic problem, it might not require urgent repair. But sometimes a chipped tooth can be problematic. It can trap food debris and become a harborage for oral bacteria, leading to decay on the chipped surface.
The chipped area of the tooth may also have created a weak spot in the tooth. This may make the tooth susceptible to further damage, such as a tooth crack, leading to additional damage, even the infection or loss of the tooth.
At a minimum, this will require a larger restoration, such as a dental crown instead of dental bonding. But it may also require procedures like root canal therapy or a dental implant to treat.
Complications Related to a Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth is a significant injury that usually should be treated right away. Left untreated, the cracked tooth is likely to crack again. As the crack propagates through the tooth, it increases the risk that we won’t be able to restore or save the damaged tooth.
An untreated cracked tooth is also more likely to get infected. An infected tooth requires root canal therapy, and can’t always be saved.
Complications Related to a Lost Tooth
A lost tooth should be replaced as soon as possible. Ideally, a dental implant is the replacement of choice, but a dental bridge can also help. If a lost tooth isn’t replaced, your remaining teeth will begin to drift. They may develop gaps between them or they may become more crowded. They can tilt or rotate. You’ll notice that you’re getting more food stuck in your teeth, and you are at an increased risk of losing another tooth.
And there will be changes that are less noticeable at first. The body will remove the jawbone that used to support the tooth. You’ll see the effects eventually as the gum line and maybe your face shows the loss of bony support.
It’s Never Too Late for Treatment
Although we recommend immediate treatment for all these types of injuries, we understand that it’s not always easy to get treatment right away. Fortunately, it’s never too late to address these injuries and their complications.
We will assess the current state of your mouth and recommend a treatment plan that can restore your smile back to its pre-accident perfection.