Doc, My Toe Fell Off – But I Didn’t Do Anything Since It Didn’t Hurt

I’d like to start off this post with a short story written by my friend and colleague, Dr. Alan Mead, on his blog Mead Family Dental.

I have a friend who told me about something that happened to him recently.

“So I was jogging the other day and one of my toes fell off. It was weird. I wasn’t even jogging on gravel or anything. Smooth blacktop. Anyway, I’m jogging along and then BOOM, my big toe falls off.”

I said, “my gosh, that’s terrible! What did the doctor say?”

“I didn’t go to the doctor. It didn’t really hurt much. Only when I walked on it just the right way. I just avoided walking on it.”

A broken tooth with an old mercury silver filling.At this point, you’re probably thinking, “No way would I ever do that!  If my toe fell off, I’d be at the doctor’s office so fast, your head would spin!”  But you know what?  We dentists hear this story almost every day, except substitute the word “tooth” for “toe,” and we hear, “Well, since it didn’t hurt, I didn’t do anything about it.

Just Because a Broken Tooth Doesn’t Hurt, Doesn’t Mean It’s Not a Problem

I’ll be honest – even after almost 15 years of doing dentistry, I don’t “get” why people think broken teeth aren’t anything to worry about.  Maybe someone can explain it to me, but I just don’t get it!  If any other part of your body broke in half, even if it didn’t hurt right away, you’d be worried, wouldn’t you?  Imagine your arm suddenly breaking and hanging there, even if it didn’t hurt, wouldn’t you be worried that something bad could be going on?

You must have heard dental horror stories, right?  About people waking up in terrible pain from a tooth abscess, or biting into something hard and a tooth breaking?  If you stop and think about it, you would figure that this is a problem, right?  Teeth aren’t just supposed to suddenly break, or suddenly start hurting – they only do that if there’s a problem!

Yeah yeah, I know…….you don’t have insurance.  But you get your oil changed and tires rotated without oil/tire-changing insurance, don’t you?  If your phone breaks and you don’t have insurance, you probably still pay for a new phone……so what’s the problem with paying to fix a part of your body that you use to eat, talk, and smile every day?  

A Broken Tooth WILL Be a Problem Sooner or Later

A broken tooth is a problem - call your Charlotte NC dentist right away.Let’s face the facts – if a tooth breaks, there is a problem.  It may not hurt now, but at some point it will.  And the more it is broken, the more it will cost to fix, both in time and money.  So why wait?  I promise – we dentists would much rather help you fix small problems than big ones.

The other thing is, and who knows why this is, but for some reason more people have toothaches and broken teeth right after our office closes for the weekend, or right before holidays, or right before you go on vacation…’s NEVER convenient.  So please don’t wait for a “convenient” time; it may well be too late.  Call NOW!

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