Accidents happen. Maybe you were snacking on your favorite candy. Maybe a game of catch went wrong. Or maybe years of grinding your teeth have finally caught up to you. Broken or cracked teeth are more common than you think. In 2021, 18% of dental cases were for a broken tooth. However, having a broken tooth doesn’t mean you should have a broken smile. Here’s how you can treat, repair, and save a broken tooth.
What Are the Risks of a Broken Tooth?
A small chip or crack may not seem a cause for concern, but there are serious health risks associated with a broken tooth, such as injury to your tongue or cheek, nerve damage, pain, sensitivity, or even infection. Fixing your tooth as soon as possible can minimize these risks.
Some people may not even know they have a broken tooth, especially if the tooth is a molar toward the back of their mouth. The main thing to look out for is noticeable sharp edges on your tooth. You may also experience pain and sensitivity due to a lack of enamel protecting your dentine.
How Can I Fix My Broken Tooth?
Now that you understand the risks, here’s what you can do to take care of a damaged tooth until you can get to a dentist for a repair.
- Immediately rinse your mouth with water to clean the remaining tooth and rinse away any debris.
- If you find yourself bleeding, apply some pressure to stop it.
- Apply a cold compress to prevent swelling.
- If you can, save the broken piece of the tooth in a bag or container. Your dentist may be able to repair the broken pieces. However, if you’ve lost your entire tooth, find the tooth and submerge it in a saline solution or even milk to persevere it.
- If you’re experiencing pain, take some over-the-counter painkillers.
- Call your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. If you’ve lost your entire tooth, your dentist will most likely bring you into the office for a same-day emergency appointment. The faster you can be seen, the better the chance you can save your broken tooth.
One thing you should never do is try to remove your damaged tooth yourself. Leave the treatment and repair to a professional to prevent further damage to your tooth root or nerve.
Treatments for a Broken Tooth
There are several ways a dentist can repair your broken tooth, depending on the severity of your case. Sometimes a simple crack requires only bonding. A larger crack or break may need a crown. A crown helps strengthen the tooth and prevent further damage.
Sometimes the root or the pulp of the tooth may be infected. When this is the case, the tooth root is removed, and a root canal is performed. If the root and tooth are damaged beyond repair, a dental implant is usually recommended. An implant uses a titanium screw to replace the missing tooth root and restore chewing capabilities.
Center Valley Dental Can Help
If you find yourself with a broken tooth, our team at Center Valley Dental offers crowns, implants, bonding, extractions, and more. Located only minutes from Allentown and Bethlehem, PA, we have worked with hundreds of patients facing broken or cracked teeth. We can repair your tooth, get you out of pain, and help you get back to smiling in no time. Schedule an appointment today.