Broken Tooth Dental Emergency
you have a broken or fractured tooth you may or may not be experiencing
discomfort. You may only be experiencing an abrasion or cut on your
Dental Emergency Professional attention
is required as soon as possible. The internal and delicate areas of
the tooth, may now be exposed to the bacteria in the mouth. Left
unprotected this could lead to new or increased decay, and ultimately
loss of tooth or root canal therapy.
Time is of the essence.
Lost Filling or Broken Tooth Dental Emergency
When a filling is lost or a tooth is broken with decay present, you might feel a void or a “hole”.
The tooth may be highly sensitive to changes in temperature.
An unattended void or “hole” in a tooth could lead to more extensive damage to the tooth.
a tooth is knocked out, hold the tooth by the crown and rinse the root
in water if it's dirty. Do NOT scrub it or remove any attached tissue
fragments. If you can, gently place the tooth back in its socket or
store it in a cup of milk and head for the dentist (with the tooth)
If you break a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm
water to keep the area clean and apply cold compresses on your face to
reduce swelling. Go to the emergency dentist immediately.
a bitten tongue or lip by cleaning gently with a cloth and applying
cold compresses to reduce swelling. If bleeding is heavy or doesn't
stop after a short time, seek immediate treatment from a hospital
The key to successfully reattaching a tooth is
to get it reimplanted in the socket as soon as possible. With each
minute that passes, more of the cells on the root of the tooth die. If
possible, rinse the tooth with water only, then reimplant the tooth at
the site and hurry to a dentist as quickly as possible. The tooth
should be picked up by the crown only and must not be allowed to dry.
The best chance for success is reimplantation within the first 30
minutes, with chances still good for up to two hours. It may be
necessary for your dentist to do a Root canal treatment one to two
weeks after the tooth has been stabilized.
teeth, whether they've been removed by a dentist or accidentally
knocked out, should be replaced. This is to avoid problems such as
difficulty chewing and speaking, a shifting of position among remaining
teeth, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders caused by chewing on the
side with more teeth, and a weakening of the jawbone. Options for
replacing lost teeth include bridges, dentures and implants.
Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack (fracture) or break. This can happen in several ways:
Biting down on something hard
Being hit in the face or mouth
Having cavities that weaken the tooth
a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. However, your tongue usually
feels the sharp area quite quickly. Minor tooth fractures usually don't
cause pain, but if a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt.
That's because the nerve inside the tooth may be damaged. If it is
exposed to air, or hot or cold foods or drinks, it can be extremely
Pain from a broken or cracked tooth may be
constant or may come and go. Many people feel pain when they chew
because chewing puts pressure on the tooth.
What You Can Do
Cracked (Fractured) Teeth Dental Emergency
is no way to treat a cracked tooth at home. You need to see your
dentist. Sometimes the tooth looks fine, but it hurts only when you eat
or when the temperature in your mouth changes (because you drank
something hot or cold, for example). If your tooth hurts all the time,
it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. This is a serious warning
Broken Teeth Dental Emergency
you have a broken tooth, see your emergency dentist as soon as
possible. Your emergency dentist can figure out if the break was caused
by cavities, and if the tooth's nerve is in danger. A damaged nerve
usually will require root canal treatment.
What Your Emergency Dentist Will Do
Fractured Teeth Dental Emergency
There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks, each of which requires different treatments. These include:
— Also called "craze lines," these are surface cracks that affect only
the outer white surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Minor cracks
rarely need treatment. However, your dentist may lightly polish the
area to smooth out any rough spots.
Cracked tooth —
This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing
surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces remain in place, but
the crack gradually spreads. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with
filling material. The tooth often will need a crown to prevent the
crack from getting worse. If the pulp (nerve and other live tissues) is
damaged, you may need a root canal as well.
— Minor chips don't always need treatment. Your dentist may suggest
repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting
worse or to make the tooth look and feel better. If the chip is very
small, the dentist may polish and smooth out the chipped area.
— These breaks affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps) of the
teeth. They usually do not affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause
much pain. Your dentist may repair the damage to restore the tooth's
shape. Frequently, however, an onlay or crown will be required.
Serious breaks —
These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always
cause the tooth to hurt and be sensitive. Usually, the broken part of
the tooth will bleed. You will need root canal treatment to remove the
exposed nerve and probably a crown to restore the tooth to normal
function so you can eat and chew properly.
— This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate
parts. Some teeth, such as your back teeth (molars), have more than one
root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots, which will then be
covered with a crown. First, you will need root canal treatment.
Second, the dentist will remove any roots that cannot be kept. Third,
you will need a crown to cover the root and replace the tooth. In some
cases, when a root cannot be saved, the tooth will have to be removed.
Vertical breaks or split root —
These cracks start in the root of the tooth and extend upward toward
the chewing surface. These breaks are often painful because the area
around the root may be inflamed or infected. In most cases, the tooth
will have to be removed.
Decay-induced break —
In this case, the tooth has broken or crumbled because a cavity
weakened it from the inside out. Your dentist will evaluate the cavity
and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In some cases, if the
decay is extensive and goes down to the bone,the tooth may have to be
Fillings are materials used to fill cavities in the
teeth. Crowns cover the tops of damaged teeth. Sometimes, fillings or
crowns fall out. In some cases, a filling or crown may come loose
because there is decay underneath it. The decay destroys part of the
tooth, so it no longer has a tight hold on the crown or filling
Don't wait too long.
What is left of the tooth will not be as strong as your crown. It could
be damaged more without the crown to protect it. Also, when a crown is
missing for a long time, your teeth may move into the space where the
crown was. If this happens, your crown may no longer fit.
may change the shape of your tooth. Usually, this means that your
emergency dentist will need to prepare the tooth again to ensure the
new crown will fit. If the crown does not fit securely, it will come
If you lose a filling, your emergency dentist will remove the decay and place a new filling.