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What You Need to Know in Case You Break Your Tooth


When you’re out and about eating at your favorite restaurant or just hanging out with your friends, the last thing you want to deal with is your tooth breaking. It’s a nightmare and you need to do something about it fast.

The pain may or may not be immediate, depending on the break. However, just because you don’t feel pain where your tooth broke off or chipped doesn’t mean you should wait and see what happens next. The first thing you should do is contact a dentist and get an appointment with them as soon as you can. 

Now that you’re booked, what’s next?

So, You Broke Your Tooth. What do you do?

Everything you do between the time you break your tooth and when you can get to the dentist is crucial. How well you take care of the area where your tooth broke can affect the odds of salvaging the tooth and treating it. 

The first step is to rinse your mouth with lukewarm water. Check to see if there’s any bleeding, and apply gauze if you find any. If your tooth broke because of sudden trauma to the face, make sure to ice the affected area on your face. 

If the nerves were damaged or exposed due to breakage, expect the pain to follow soon. Make sure you take a Tylenol or whatever your preferred pain reliever is to alleviate the pain. 

Depending on how bad the break is, that might not be enough. Rest assured that once your dentist gets to look at you, you will receive a far more effective pain reliever. This experience will probably be stressful, painful, and kind of scary. The best thing to do is get as much rest as possible and avoid any more movement near the broken tooth.

You’re with the Dentist. What are Your Options?

There are many ways to fix a broken or chipped tooth. Most are cosmetic methods like boding and crowns. For extreme cases, you will likely need a root canal or extraction.

  • Cosmetic Methods

One of the methods a dentist can fix your tooth is by cosmetic contouring. This is when they polish and clean up the rough edges of your tooth with a special tool. They can also perform dental bonding. This is when a dentist attaches a tooth-colored composite to the broken or damaged tooth. And finally, artificial or partial crowns are dental caps are placed over the damaged tooth. 

  • Root Canal and Extraction

Root canal or extraction is only necessary if the damage to the tooth is so severe that it exposes nerves and blood vessels. This can lead to infection and a host of other problems, so at this point, the best course of action is the removal of the tooth or the exposed nerves. 

Unfortunately, expect that decay-induced breaks might be different. These situations often require some more planning because of the cavity. But mostly, an extraction will be the best option.

The Bottom Line

When your tooth suddenly breaks or chips, the immediate response is probably panic. Fortunately, in most cases, this is a problem that has multiple solutions. The most you have to worry about is getting an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. 

If you require emergency dental services, we’re available to help you. Dr. Thomas E. Cooke Family Dentistry provides a full range of patient-oriented services. We are located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Contact us today and get your emergency dental care as soon as possible.