You broke your tooth; now what?

Teeth are incredibly strong, but they can chip, fracture, or break. This can happen by biting down on something hard, being hit in the face or mouth, falling, getting cavities that weaken the tooth or old fillings that don’t support the enamel of the tooth.

You may not always feel pain when a tooth chips or breaks; however, your tongue usually feels the sharp areas. Minor tooth fractures usually don’t cause pain, but when large pieces break off, it hurts. Pain from a broken or cracked tooth won’t always be constant, it may come and go. Most people will feel pain when they chew, when there is pressure on the tooth, or when the nerve endings are exposed to the air. Hot and cold food or drinks may also cause sensitivity and pain.

You cannot treat a cracked tooth at home; you must see your dentist. Pain is a serious warning sign of tooth injury. You may not have pain when you bite on the tooth. Often a cracked tooth will present pain when you release the bite instead. If you have constant pain, you may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. Your dentist can diagnose and treat these issues to prevent further complications and relieve your pain.

The type of treatment your dentist will recommend depends on the type of break you have and how much of the tooth is affected. When at all possible, your tooth will be saved. Your dentist will evaluate your situation and discuss the prognosis and treatment options available for you.

There are ways you can help relieve your pain and reduce the risk of more damage until you are able to get to the dentist office:

● Rinse your mouth well with warm water.
● Apply pressure to any bleeding areas for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Use a piece of gauze or a tea bag when applying pressure.
● Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth to help reduce swelling and pain.
● Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever.
● If you are unable to get to your dentist right away, you can cover the part of the tooth left in the mouth with temporary dental cement that can be found at your local drugstore.

No amount of home care can treat cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Serious complications and infections can arise if it left untreated. If you currently have a fractured tooth or are experiencing a tooth emergency, All Family Dental Care is here to help and give you back your normal, healthy smile.

Our staff here at All Family Dental Care would like to give those patients who have health savings accounts, flexible spending, and insurance benefits a friendly reminder that the end of the year is fast approaching and it’s time to schedule your dental visit to get the most out of your benefits. Most health insurance benefits operate on an annual basis.

Dental insurance usually covers annual appointments, preventive services, and professional cleanings at no cost to you. Most often copay is not required. If you are unsure of your out-of-pocket expense, we’d be glad to review your dental insurance and verify your basic coverage. Take advantage of those free dental cleanings!

Your deductibles will reset at the start of the new year. If you’ve already satisfied your deductible, now is the time to take care of last minute treatments and save money. Prolonging dental treatment usually results in more expenses down the road.

Use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars. Remember that FSAs are a use-it or lose-it benefit. If you fail to use the money you deposited in the account before the year is over, you will forfeit those funds. FSAs can be used to pay for dental services and treatment. We also have financing options available for patients needing an alternative to flexible spending.

Let us help you maximize all your insurance benefits through proper scheduling. Some procedures require multiple appointments and extra time for lab restorations. We have the option of starting some treatments at the end of one year and completing after the next year begins, providing you with two years coverage on one treatment. By doing this, we are able to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

If you anticipate dental work in the upcoming year and want to budget your health savings accounts and FSA, schedule a consultation with us and let us provide an estimate. You can budget your payroll contribution, and most FSAs will provide those funds up front at the beginning of the year, so you can start treatment sooner rather than later.

Don’t delay any longer! Now is the time to reserve your appointment with us. We tend to get busy around the holidays and at year end, so space is limited.

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