Having a broken tooth isn’t any fun. Despite the fact that a broken tooth is often cosmetic, there’s a chance that your break has sharp edges. On top of that, a broken tooth can be very painful, depending on the kind of damage it has. And this pain may worsen the longer a tooth’s left untreated. Depending on what caused your tooth to break, there may be a few ways to fix a broken tooth.
How to fix a cracked tooth
Cracked teeth aren’t all the same, so there are different way to fixed cracked teeth depending on the damage. Your dentist will recommend one of the following if you have a cracked tooth:
- Crack in tooth crown: if the root of the tooth wasn’t damaged by the crack, it can be fixed with fillings and a crown. In some cases, dental inlays and onlays might be an option. If you suspect the tooth won’t last long after crowning, a dental implant might be best.
- A split tooth: if the crack splits the tooth all the way down to the root, it will usually require a dental implant. Although you might be able to crown a molar if your dentist doesn’t have to remove all its roots.
- Split roots: split roots start in the root of your tooth rather than the crown. So you might not be able to see any damage to your tooth. You’ll only feel pain and inflammation. Chances are you’ll need an extraction. You can replace it using a dental implant.
How to fix a broken tooth
If your tooth has broken in another way, and it isn’t obviously split or cracked, your treatment options might differ. Below is a list of different ways to fix a broken tooth:
- Broken cusp: a broken cusp is when one of the pointed parts a molar breaks off completely. Most often, an onlay with a crown is a great solution for this kind of damage.
- Severe breaks: severe breaks occur when a tooth is broken all the way to its nerve. Because of this, severe breaks can bleed and are often very painful. A severely broken tooth will usually require your dentist to perform a root canal and place a crown.
- Chips: chips are usually seen in the front teeth. if the chip is very small, treatment is optional rather than necessary. For large chips, your dentist can recommend a crown, dental bonding, or an implant. Small chips are often only a cosmetic problem. Dental bonding or veneers are your best options should you wish for your smile to look healthier.
- Breaks caused by decay: this is when your tooth broke as a result of a dental cavity that formed, weakening the tooth structure. For this kind of damage, your dentist will have to evaluate and recommend treatment options as the extent of the damage can vary.
What to do if your tooth is knocked out?
A hard knock can cause your tooth to fall out, but luckily it won’t always break. However, you need to place the tooth back as quickly as possible. If you feel brave, you can do this yourself and visit your dentist for an emergency appointment to see that the tooth is properly in place.
If you lose a tooth, avoid touching the root. Pick up your tooth by its crown instead. If your tooth is dirty, gently rinse it, but don’t scrub or wipe it, and avoid letting it dry out. Next, you can reinsert the tooth in its socket by pushing it into the socket with a finger. Or you can try biting down gently, slowly pushing it back in place.
We recommend placing the tooth back in its socket as quickly as possible. The sooner the tooth is repositioned, the better the chance of its survival. But if you aren’t feeling courageous, you can take the tooth to your dentist to have it repositioned. To preserve the tooth, you can place it in milk (not water), or keep it in your mouth. You can also use an emergency tooth preservation kit (like Save-A-Tooth), just don’t let your tooth dry out. You’ll have to go to your nearest dental office to have your tooth repositioned within the first 30 minutes after the injury.
Call us at 954-568-9100 for an emergency appointment. We keep time open for just this sort of thing.