We had an ice storm last weekend and wouldn’t you know, I fell. Instead of landing on my backside, my face took the brunt of it and all I have to show for it is a black eye and a broken tooth. I looked like I had been in a fight. Of course, my regular dentist wasn’t open, so I had to see an emergency dentist. After some x-rays, he said the tooth looked fine structurally and he used bonding (the stuff they use for white fillings) to fix it. It looks pretty darn good to me, but he said I should follow up with my dentist to have it looked at and then permanently fixed. Is that really necessary if he used the same bonding material my dentist would? I’m going to be traveling a lot in the next few months, so getting an appointment set up will be a challenge, plus, why should I pay out more money if my dentist is just going to replace it with the same stuff? — Darian
There’s probably a good chance that the emergency dentist used the same composite material that’s normally used in fillings. If he did, the fix could last for many years.
As for wanting you to follow-up with your regular dentist, he is likely thinking beyond just the bonding itself. When there’s a trauma or injury, it’s not uncommon for a tooth to show no signs of injury right at first. An x-ray can’t show if blood flow has been cut off – which mean the tooth is dead or dying and you’ll need a root canal. Pain, an abscess or discoloration are most often the first signs of a dead/dying tooth. That’s why he wants you to see your regular dentist to check on it.
You could also need a crown. Sometimes with a large chip, bonding is a temporary fix until you can get the protection of a crown. Take his advice and follow-up with your regular office – it just might save you pain or an even bigger problem in the future.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.