Last Wednesday, my 11-year-old son fell in our backyard. Of course, with COVID-19 we’ve been social distancing, and Chad (our son) has been creative outdoors. Unfortunately, he cracked a front tooth, and a noticeable piece of the left corner is broken. We had a telemedicine emergency appointment with a pediatric dentist. She said that the tooth root needs time to desensitize anyway, and maybe within the next three weeks, we’ll be able to come into the office for her to mend the crack. Is this three-week wait time reasonable? I don’t want to put my son in situations that unnecessarily expose him to more people and the virus, but neither do I want the expense of him losing a tooth. – Thanks. Joan from Alexandria
You are wise to get an opinion from another dentist. You don’t need to wait three weeks to restore your son’s tooth.
Three Factors to Consider If Your Child Chipped a Tooth
- Reattaching the broken piece of the tooth – We know that your son fell outdoors, but if you have the part of the front tooth that broke off, rather than a pediatric dentist, select a skilled cosmetic dentist who treats adults and children. He or she can seamlessly bond the broken piece back in place. If you weren’t able to find the broken piece of the tooth after your son’s fall, a cosmetic dentist could use direct dental bonding to fill in the missing space.
- Chairside dental bonding – Blending dental composite to match your natural teeth is an art. And 98% of dentists aren’t able to achieve aesthetic results, so look for a dentist with advanced training. This technique is called chairside dental bonding because a cosmetic dentist will apply it while your son is sitting in a dental chair.
- As your son gets older – As we age, tooth pulp—the living tissue inside a tooth—shrinks in volume. Pulp reduction is accelerated if a tooth is injured. As your son ages, a dentist might recommend a dental crown to protect the tooth. In advanced cases, the dentist might recommend root canal treatment before placing a dental crown.
Visit an advanced cosmetic dentist who will examine your son’s tooth and explain his treatment options.
Accredited fellow of cosmetic dentistry, David Finley, DDS of Monroe, LA sponsors this post.
In the before-and-after photos below of one of Dr. Finley’s patients, you can see how beautifully he restored a severly broken tooth.