Each March homes tune in to watch the college basketball phenomenon appropriately referred to as “March Madness.” Fans – along with dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych – eagerly fill out their brackets and attempt to correctly predict who will win each game, leading up to the finale.
During last year’s March Madness – at the Harvard and Arizona game – fans everywhere watched as Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers took a forearm to the face, resulting in a chipped front tooth. (If you missed it, you can see it here.)
Luckily, one of the injured player’s teammates was able to recover the broken tooth. But your dentist Columbia warns that this accident is a reminder that trauma to your teeth can happen at any moment and when it does, many people simply don’t know what to do.
The first thing you should do in this situation is to determine whether the tooth has been loosened, chipped or knocked out entirely. If the tooth is chipped but not loose, the best thing is to try to find the piece that broke off and soak it in saline, milk or water to keep it hydrated. In many cases, the piece can be cemented back onto the tooth and remain unnoticeable.
If the pulp of the chipped tooth is exposed, a root canal will probably be required. If the chipped off piece cannot be found or there is a big portion of the tooth missing, a porcelain crown or veneer will be put in to restore the tooth.
If the tooth is loose, it’s important that the patient get into your dentist Columbia office as soon as possible so we can stabilize the teeth by binding them together to prevent any additional loosening or shifting following the accident.
If the tooth has been completely knocked out, save it if possible and keep it hydrated, handling it as little as possible until you get to our office. Once there, we will evaluate it for implantation or replacement with an implant, bridge, or removable appliance.