Harry Coppell, a pole vaulter on Team Great Britain, experienced a dental injury which caused his two front teeth to be injured during a practice session for the Olympics.
He recounted his unfortunate experience on his Twitter feed, including footages of how the pole vault bar fell and hit his face (and front teeth), in a light-hearted and brave manner. The level of professionalism he displayed is praiseworthy.
Thankfully, there is a team of dental experts at the Tokyo Olympics to take care of such incidents. We are sure that our friend, Dr Tanaka, on the Olympic team can help him the best and we look forward to Coppell’s new smile.
Being a hospital-based dental practice at Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Gleneagles Hospital, it is not uncommon for our dental specialists to attend to patients who experienced dental accidents at the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department. We understand it can be a very stressful event when it happens, so here are some pro tips to help you overcome it.
1) Keep your cool amidst dental injury
Most importantly, keep calm and do not panic. There might be a lot of things running through your mind, take deep breaths and get help.
2) Locate chipped tooth
Try to find the piece of chipped tooth if possible. When found, do not try to re-attach a piece of the chipped tooth. Instead, take it to the dentist immediately in a clean container in some milk or saliva. Do not self-medicate to eliminate pain symptoms. If breathing through your mouth or drinking cold fluid causes pain, bite on a clean and moist cloth for temporary pain relief.
3) Visit a dental specialist / dentist as soon as you can
After clinic operating hours
If it is late and you no longer have access to a dental clinic, there are A&E departments in hospitals that have dental specialists on their roster, including Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Gleneagles Hospital. You may want to call the A&E to confirm before making a trip down.
During clinic operating hours
Your dental specialist / dentist will assess the condition of your injured teeth to determine if dental treatment can be done to save them. We understand it can be worrying, especially if it is the front teeth that has been injured.
At Specialist Dental Group, you can be rest assured that your dental specialist would do their best for you so that you can leave the clinic with a full smile on the same visit.
Possible treatment options for the chipped tooth include the following:
- Reattach chipped tooth to the natural tooth,
- Repair using tooth-coloured (composite) filling, or
- New dental crown to restore the tooth
In the event that the injured tooth is fractured near to the gum line, the tooth would have been weakened significantly and the longevity of the tooth would be compromised. In such cases, the tooth would be extracted, followed by teeth replacement treatment such as dental implant surgery or denture.