What to Do About a Broken Tooth

When you have a broken tooth, whether it’s chipped, cracked, or split, you should seek professional attention from your dentist. Here, we’ll go through a number of dental issues to help you determine what to do about a broken tooth.

woman closing her eyes holding her lower jaw with tooth pain

Cracked Tooth

If you have a cracked tooth, you’ll need to seek medical attention ASAP because there’s not much you can do at home. Minor cracks, also known as craze lines, are tiny surface cracks that only really affect the enamel and don’t need treatment although your dentist could lightly polish the crack to smooth out the line. A typical cracked tooth, however, is a fracture that involves the entire tooth–from the enamel to the nerve or even blood vessels. Cracked teeth are often fixed with either a filling or a crown, or, if the crack has damaged the pulp of the tooth, a root canal.

Chipped Tooth

Depending on how bad it is, a chipped tooth might not need treatment but simply some filling and a polish to smooth out the chipped area. However, if your chip is large, be sure to place the chipped part of the tooth in a glass of milk before you can make it in to see the dentist. With a larger chip, your dentist might suggest something as minor as bonding with a natural-looking composite to shape out the tooth, or something as extensive as veneers or a crown to replace the tooth.

Split Tooth

A split tooth occurs when the tooth splits vertically into two. These kind of breaks are incredibly painful because often the root or around the area is inflamed or infected. Your dentist will often have to perform a root canal to flush out the infection, and in some cases the tooth may even need to be removed and then replaced with an artificial tooth.

Broken Tooth

Before you can get in to see the dentist, you’ll need to rinse your mouth out with warm water, apply light pressure against the bleeding area until the bleeding stops, and then apply an ice pack to the outside of the cheek to reduce swelling and alleviate any pain. Also be sure to save your tooth in a glass of milk. When you get in to see the dentist there are a number of procedures that might be done. If the break affects the pointed chewing surface of the tooth, you’ll probably need a crown or onlay to restore the tooth’s natural shape. If a break goes all the way to expose a nerve, you’ll need a root canal and a crown or implant to restore the tooth. Similarly, if your break is decay-induced from a cavity, you’ll probably have to have the tooth removed.

No matter what kind of break you experience, contact us immediately so we can get you feeling better as quickly as possible.

To ask our team any questions about broken teeth, contact us today!

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What to Do About a Broken Tooth was last modified: January 10th, 2019 by Palos Heights Family Dental