During the filming of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Viggo Mortensen fell, smacked his face, and broke his front tooth off. Not wanting to delay filming, he had someone from the crew just superglue his tooth back in and carried on. It was just one of several injuries the actor incurred during the making of the film, and he habitually ignored the pain and pushed on through.
Admirable as that may be, gluing a broken tooth back in may be taking things a bit far. In case you are confused, glue is not the correct way to fix a broken tooth. If you break a tooth, you are supposed to, if possible, put the tooth back into place in the socket, but gluing it in place is definitely not necessary or recommended.
Taking care of our teeth is something that is drilled into us from the time we are small. Brushing, flossing, and annual check-ups are all parts of a routine to keep our teeth and gums healthy. It’s important. Good oral hygiene can help prevent a lot of problems that can directly impact our overall health.
However, even the most vigilant of brushers and flossers can have an accident. Falls, sports injuries, fights, and plain old clumsiness can leave you with a chipped, cracked, or broken out tooth. And then what do you do? When you’re standing there in the middle of the night holding one of your teeth in your hand, that’s the time to call an emergency dentist in Chandler, Arizona, not hunt down the superglue.
To avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room, it’s important to know what actually constitutes a dental emergency. Life doesn’t end at the close of business, and accidents will happen. Just biting down on a piece of food that’s too hard can cause a tooth to crack. Can your tooth injury wait until the morning when the dentist’s office opens, or should you call your dentist’s emergency line?
A broken off tooth obviously requires a call to the emergency line. But what about a crack or a chip? Depending on how severe the crack or chip is and where it is located, you may be able to wait until normal business hours to contact your dentist.
A dental emergency may involve a crack or chip or missing tooth, but you may have something going on that is less obvious, such as an abscess tooth. You can tell whether a call to the dentist at midnight is warranted by asking yourself a few simple questions:
- Are you in serious pain?
- Is there blood coming from your mouth?
- Is your mouth or face swollen?
- Are you having problems speaking?
Regardless of the time of day, if any of these are true for you, call your emergency dentist in Chandler immediately. During business hours, they will get you in a quickly as possible. Afterhours, they will have an emergency line. Even a dentist that does not advertise as an emergency dentist may have a contact number or instructions on their voicemail. If you cannot reach your dentist, head to the nearest emergency room.
While you’re waiting, for a knocked-out tooth, handle the tooth as little as possible. If you can get the tooth back in the socket, do it. You could try biting on some damp to hold it in place, but if you can’t get it to stay, put the tooth in some milk or in your cheek to keep it wet with your saliva. You want to keep the tooth from drying out. Just don’t use any glue.