NOTICE: If you have cracked a tooth as the result of very recent trauma, contact us immediately!
Click here to go to our Accident & Emergency page to learn how to help your dentist save your tooth.
What do I do if I have a broken or chipped tooth?
If the break or chip is NOT the result of a very recent trauma, one of our dentists can evaluate you for treatment. Try to schedule an appointment to fix the chip or break as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of further complications. A minor chip is no cause for concern, but a serious break should be treated as a dental emergency.
How do teeth break or chip?
I thought they were made of some of the strongest stuff in our body! Even the strongest substances have their breaking point! Teeth are most often broken by trauma. This can happen by biting down on something hard – like ice, hard candy or objects like pencils – or by a blow to the face or directly on the teeth themselves. If your teeth are already weakened by decay or mercury amalgam fillings, they are far more susceptible to cracking.
How is a broken or chipped tooth treated?
One of our dentists can evaluate your situation. They will determine whether or not the break or chip was caused by decay, and if there is any nerve damage.
A small chip can usually be fixed by enamel shaping, and larger ones may require veneers, bonding, or onlays (for molars).
Broken/fractured teeth and larger chips are usually best treated with a crown, and if the break goes down to the nerve, root canal therapy is an option for treatment before the tooth is crowned. If you choose to avoid having a root canal for health reasons, an extraction will then be needed. The missing tooth would then be replaced with a bridge an implant or a partial denture.
You MUST have a fractured tooth treated as soon as possible, before it becomes abscessed or infected!