I hit an icy patch when I left my house a week or so ago. I literally fell on my face. I was so embarrassed when I looked in the mirror to discover one of my front teeth had chipped. I couldn’t get into my normal dentist so I had an emergency dentist take a look. From a structural perspective, the tooth should be fine which is a relief. He patched it with dental bonding. But he recommended I get into my normal dentist to have him check it out too. Do I really need to go into my regular dentist? How long with the dental bonding last? If I’m okay with the patch job the original dentist did, do I really need to have it re-checked?
-Mike in Michigan
In the winter, dentists see many patients with similar accidents. It’s good to hear that you weren’t more seriously hurt. The emergency dentist likely used a dental bonding material used for filling a cavity. So, it should last for many years, even decades in some cases.
But since the tooth was traumatized, you really should go into your normal dentist. First, if your regular dentist is a cosmetic dentist, he can evaluate the work from an aesthetic viewpoint. Also, sometimes a tooth that is traumatized may not exhibit symptoms right away. The nerves inside the tooth may gradually fail over time. If that occurs, the tooth will need a root canal. So definitely be on the lookout for any kind of abscess, discoloration, or increase in pain. Those are all symptoms. It’s pretty typical that when a patient sees an emergency dentist that they are referred back to their regualar dentist to evaluate any long-term issues.
It is also possible that the break may require a porcelain crown because the dental bonding may not be the ideal fix for the long run. It may have been more of a temporary fix. So, it would be in your best interest to schedule your follow-up visit with your regular dentist just to make sure all looks okay.