Here is a quote I repeatedly say, “When we are younger, we can fall and we get right back up. As we get older, it gets a lot more difficult”. This quote is not very profound, but our bones do become more brittle as we age and so do our teeth. So, I always caution my patients not to eat hard nuts or pretzels. What is a really bad habit? Chewing on ice!
We see around one patient a day for emergency dental care because they have broken a tooth. Our office policy is to see the patient the day we are called, because you do not want to have a broken tooth or filling for long.
Many patients have large tooth fillings that were been placed many years ago, and, over time, there just is not a lot of solid tooth structure left supporting the restoration. Many patients come in as an emergency with a large filling and that is all that is left in their tooth. The filling looks fine, but the rest of the tooth is gone! The usual fix is to make a crown which involves preparing the tooth, taking an impression and making a temporary crown. On the next visit, the crown is inserted. Occasionally, we will see a patient that had a root canal done in a tooth and they never had the tooth restored with a cap. The tooth fractures as a root canalled tooth is not as strong as our original equipment. We caution all our patients to restore any endodontically treated teeth so they are protected when biting hard.
Yesterday, I had the classic case of an emergency patient that broke a tooth when they placed a Snickers in the freezer and decided it would be a good thing to eat.
You know the rest of the story.