Don't use your teeth as tools!

We recommend rapid treatment of tooth injury. Many people will want to get a chipped tooth repaired right away. Others may decide to get treatment if their tooth turns dark after trauma.

But other people may not get treatment for damaged teeth right away. Or they may get a checkup to understand their options, but may never get a tooth repaired. Some people may even decide against replacing a missing tooth, or may opt for a solution like a partial denture that doesn’t give good functional results.

But people that don’t get treatment may soon come to regret not getting treatment for their injuries. Fortunately, it’s never too late to restore or replace teeth that were damaged or lost in an accident or due to an injury. However, it may take more time and additional reconstructive dentistry  procedures.

Complications Related to a Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth is a relatively minor, cosmetic problem at first. And it may not get significantly worse for waiting, depending on the exact nature of the chip. For many chipped teeth, we can treat them the same way months or even years later.

However, there are some potential problems with leaving a chipped tooth untreated. The chipped surface of the tooth is unlike other tooth surfaces. Instead of being a smooth surface that can shed food debris and bacteria, the chipped surface may be rough, giving a place for bacteria to shelter. This can be the start of decay, which can lead to additional cavities, or, potentially, the infection of the tooth.

The chip can also become a potential weak spot in the damaged tooth. This will make it susceptible to future damage, including serious cracks that can cause the tooth to fail. Postponing treatment may require a larger restoration (e.g. a crown instead of dental bonding), additional procedures like root canal therapy, or may lead to the failure of the tooth.

Complications Related to a Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth may hold together for a while, but if it’s not treated, the crack will likely grow larger or spawn additional cracks. Even if the pulp chamber of the tooth was not initially penetrated, subsequent cracking would lead to it being exposed and potentially infected. Once the tooth is infected, root canal treatment is required.

A crack that starts in the crown of the tooth can spread to the root of the tooth. Once the root is cracked, the tooth can’t be saved. It will have to be removed.

Complications Related to a Lost Tooth

If you lost a tooth, it’s best to replace it right away. If you don’t replace a lost tooth, you will likely notice changes in your teeth. They will likely begin to drift, and may crowd, spread apart, tilt, and/or rotate.

The loss of a tooth will also have less obvious effects. The jawbone that used to support the tooth will be resorbed by the body. This will eventually become visible as changes in the gum line, and, possibly, changes in your face shape and proportion.

Overcoming Complications

Although postponing treatment can lead to complications, we can usually overcome these complications to give you great results, no matter how long it’s been since your teeth were injured, we can overcome these complications to restore your beautiful smile.

But in addition to your initial treatment plan, we may have to recommend additional procedures such as:

  • Root canal therapy
  • Additional or larger restorations
  • Extraction
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Bone graft
  • Dental implant or dental bridge

That’s why we recommend treatment as soon as possible.

We won’t know what treatments are necessary in your case until we do an evaluation, but we can tell you that we will be able to restore your smile to its pre-injury appearance–or make it even better.

To learn more about restoring your smile after a tooth injury, please call (702) 873-0324 today for an appointment with Las Vegas dentist Dr. James B. Polley.