What To Do If You Crack Chip Or Break A Tooth

Chipped or broken teeth can be both painful as well as embarrassing. At Radiance Dental, our Camas dentist can help you repair your broken tooth promptly so that you can get back to your daily routine, whether it’s heading to the office or getting back to school.

Depending on the extent of the damage to your entire tooth, the treatment choices will vary. 

Immediate Care for Broken or Chipped Tooth

First things first, if you have a chipped or broken tooth, try to find the broken tooth fragment as quickly as possible. Store it in a sealed container so that you don’t lose it and make sure it’s completely covered with saline, milk, contact solution, or if none of those are available, you can use water with a pinch of salt. 

Next, bring your broken tooth to our Camas dentist immediately. For the best results, we need to address your remaining tooth structure within the next hour or two. It may be possible to bond the broken fragment back in place.

If you have any pain or swelling, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen to alleviate inflammation. Apply pressure with sterile gauze or clean tissue paper if there is any bleeding. If there is severe bleeding that cannot be controlled, head straight for the nearest hospital emergency room. 

Depending on how much of the tooth is broken, you can cover it with sugarless chewing gum or orthodontic dental wax. This step serves two purposes: One, it covers the rough broken tooth edge to minimize soft tissue irritation. Two, it helps provide a temporary barrier to reduce tooth sensitivity. 

Make sure not to eat anything (only soft foods and only chewing on the other side of your mouth) otherwise, the tooth chip can get worse. Things like hard candy or sticky items run the risk of breaking your tooth even further. 

Types of Treatment for a Broken Tooth

It may be possible to use a special dental cement to re-attach the broken tooth fragment. Otherwise, a restoration will be necessary. Depending on the severity of dental emergencies involving cracked teeth, we may recommend one of the following treatments:

Composite Bonding

Composite bonding is a tooth-colored resin that we use to repair small flaws in chipped teeth. Especially if the chip is minor. Our Camas dentist will shape the composite over the area of concern, restoring the shape of natural tooth enamel and making your smile look whole again. Tooth-colored composite resin is easy to apply, and numbing may not even be required. 

Dental Crown

Severely cracked teeth cannot be repaired with bonding or a dental filling. To prevent additional breakage, it’s best to cover the entire tooth with a dental crown. The crown will help distribute biting pressure to preserve the remaining tooth enamel underneath. Otherwise, the tooth may reach a point where it can no longer be restored. 

We recommend that you only eat soft foods for the first few days and avoid chewing on your temporary crown until the permanent one is installed with special dental cement. 

Root Canal Treatment

A chipped tooth where the tooth breaks all the way into the nerve tissue will require a higher level of care. Covering the tooth with a crown will only trap bacteria inside of the nerve, resulting in an abscess. Instead, our dentist’s office will need to perform emergency root canal treatment to prevent total tooth loss. 

Root canal therapy involves removing the damaged nerve tissues, filling the hollow chamber, and covering the tooth with a crown. 

Tooth Splint

Knocked out teeth should be reinserted into the socket as quickly as possible. From there, we will use a special tooth splint to hold the damaged tooth in place, allowing it to hopefully fuse with the surrounding bone and gum tissue. The splint is usually attached to adjacent natural teeth and worn for several months. 

Even with a splint, your tooth may still require filling material or even endodontic therapy. Although we want to do our best to restore your original tooth, we will closely monitor it to intercept further damage. 

Tooth Extraction

If you’re experiencing severe pain because of aggressive infection, broken teeth, or a large crack in your tooth enamel, the quickest solution may be to remove any damaged teeth. Dental extractions are usually the last option if you have a chipped tooth, but they are necessary when your smile is badly damaged. We will review all options with you so that you can make an informed decision about your cracked tooth. 

Should we need to extract your tooth because of an emergency, we will recommend replacing it as quickly as possible. Whether it’s a front tooth or back teeth, a missing tooth can affect your entire smile. The best solution is to install a dental implant or fixed bridge if there are other teeth on either side. 

Managing Tooth Pain 

Aside from taking ibuprofen, you can also apply clove oil to the tooth that hurts. Only a drop or two is necessary. Rinsing with warm salt water can also help to reduce swelling, which is one of the most common causes of tooth pain. 

Even if your tooth doesn’t hurt, it’s important to see our Camas dentist as soon as possible. By providing earlier care, we can reduce two visits into one and save money by treating the tooth as quickly as possible. 

When you get to our office, our dentist will carefully numb your tooth to get you comfortable. Once you’re out of pain, it will be easier to discuss if you require treatment and which type of restoration is best. 

Symptoms of Cracked Tooth

Not all chipped tooth enamel is obvious. Sometimes sensitive teeth or a jagged edge are the only warning signs. If you notice a sharp edge with your tongue or dental floss or something that feels “off” when you’re chewing, you might have a cracked tooth. This is particularly common if there is existing tooth decay that hasn’t been treated with a filling or full tooth crown. 

In Pain? Call Now Radiance Dental offers fast treatment for cracked teeth. Contact us today for an appointment. 

You May Also Like…