A dental emergency may not just damage your teeth. It could be the dental restorations attached to those teeth that were in the firing line. So what if an accident loosens or dislodges one of your dental crowns, dental veneers, or even just a filling? Each case is different, but sometimes a knocked-out restoration can lead to serious consequences.
Integration With the Tooth
A physical accident causing blunt force trauma can easily break a restoration's integration with the tooth surface it's attached to. A crown can be pulled off the tooth, a veneer can peel away from your dental veneer, or a filling can just be plain knocked out. This loose piece of ceramic or acrylic resin can cause soft tissue lacerations during an accident, and can easily be swallowed in the confusion.
You needn't be worried if you swallow your dental restoration. It's not ideal, but it won't do your body any harm. The primary concern (of which you'll quickly become aware) is heightened sensitivity in the tooth. Your tooth could also be considerably painful. Clearly, immediate and excruciating toothache warrants emergency dental treatment.
Exposed Tooth Nerve
Your soreness is due to the tooth's nerve being exposed. It's not like an open wound, yet the restoration was helping to isolate the nerve—much as a natural tooth does. The tooth may have lost some of its surface enamel due to decay or previous trauma. The enamel may also have been manually removed to fit a cosmetic restoration, like a veneer.
Missing tooth enamel means that dentin (the next layer down) is visible. Dentin contains tubules—microscopic passages that lead to the tooth's nerve. The nerve can immediately begin to register pain—which is often significant. If the pain is overwhelming, you have to seek emergency dental treatment.
An emergency dentist will assess and repair any soft tissue damage caused by the loss of the restoration—it may have caused a few lacerations as it was forcefully detached from the tooth. A lost filling can be surprisingly painful, but this can typically be replaced immediately, using tooth-coloured resin that's indistinguishable from its predecessor.
Lost Crowns and Veneers
Dental crowns and veneers are specialist ceramic prostheses, and can't be immediately replaced. Your own dentist will need to take the tooth's specifications to manufacture a new version of the appliance. However, an emergency dentist can add a pre-made resin crown to the tooth, which plugs your exposed dentin tubules, stopping the nerve from registering further pain. You will be referred back to your own dentist for a new replacement restoration.
Sometimes a lost restoration has serious consequences, and that's the extreme pain that exposed dentin tubules can cause to a tooth's nerve. Don't tolerate this discomfort, hoping it will improve. It won't, and you're going to need immediate treatment.
For more information, contact a company such as Jansz Dental.