The Do’s and Don’ts Of How to Fix a Broken Tooth

Wednesday, December 1, 2021
The Do’s and Don’ts Of How to Fix a Broken Tooth

Although your teeth are designed to handle an incredible amount of pressure, sometimes they crack or break. Whether you have a broken tooth due to an injury, biting into something hard, or you have no idea what’s caused the damage, you will likely wonder how to fix a broken tooth.

While you should never attempt to fix a broken tooth at home, the doctors at Penn Dental Family Practice do have recommendations for how to care for a broken tooth until you can see your dentist.

Why You Need to Fix a Broken Tooth

Sometimes, you might not notice right away that you have a chipped or broken tooth. When that happens, you may not be concerned about how to fix a broken tooth — but you should be.

Ignoring a broken tooth can cause infection. Depending on the extent of the damage, the longer it’s left untreated, the greater the chance that you’ll end up losing the entire tooth. The sooner you see a Penn Doctor, the more options they have for fixing the tooth.

A female dentist weaning a face mask and gloves examines a patient’s broken tooth.

If your tooth is only chipped, or just a small part has broken off, your dentist may be able to fix it with a filling or dental bonding. More extensive damage may require a dental crown, or cap over the remaining tooth. If the tooth needs to be removed, a prosthetic dental implant may be used. In any case, the dentist can restore the full function of the tooth, prevent infection, and stop the pain.

How To Fix a Broken Tooth: The Do’s and Don’ts

Over the course of your life you’ve probably heard lots of things about how to fix a broken tooth, and what to do if one happens to you. At the same time, you probably see information for products and methods that may not be dentist recommended when it comes to actually saving your damaged tooth.

Asian woman holding a coffee cup has pain from a broken tooth.

If you have an injured tooth, here are some important do’s and don’ts to remember.

  • DO call your dentist right away. A broken tooth is a dental emergency, and should be treated as such. Call your dentist as soon as you notice a broken tooth, and make an appointment as soon as possible. The sooner you visit your dentist, the better chance your tooth can be saved.
  • DO save any piece of your tooth that chips off. Bring even small pieces of tooth to your dentist, as they may be able to repair or reattach it. When saving a whole or partial tooth, place it in a container and cover it with either whole milk or saliva. This can help to preserve it until you can get to the dentist.
  • DO treat pain. If your broken tooth causes pain, you can use several methods to alleviate discomfort. Try biting down on a piece of moist gauze or cloth or applying a cold compress to your face the area of the broken tooth. For persistent pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed.
  • DO apply chewed gum or wax to your jagged tooth. If your broken tooth is rubbing up against your cheek or lip and causing discomfort, you may want to soften the edge by putting a piece of chewed gum or wax on the jagged edge. Although this is certainly a temporary solution, it might help you last until your visit to the dentist.
  • DON’T try to handle it yourself. You may be wondering about “how to fix a broken tooth yourself,” or “how to fix a broken tooth at home.” The answer is: you can’t. You need to see a dentist right away if you have a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth.

If your desire to treat the injury yourself is due to anxiety about visiting a dentist, you’re not alone. Fortunately, the doctors at Penn Dental Family Practice understand that dental anxiety is common, and are more than happy to discuss your concerns. Don’t let your fear or anxiety about the dentist keep you from getting the help you need.

  • DON’T apply any products or pain killers directly to the tooth. While there are painkillers available for oral discomfort that are applied topically, you should never apply any medication directly to the affected tooth. Similarly, don’t touch or attempt to clean any exposed roots or pulp, either in the mouth, or on a piece that has broken off.

See an Emergency Dentist at Penn Dental Family Practice

Are you or a loved one wondering how to fix a broken tooth? Schedule an appointment with a Penn Doctor, or call us at 215-898-PDFP (7337) right away. And if you want to know more about restoring your smile with dental implants, download our complimentary flyer “Create Your Dream Smile With Penn Dental Family Practice.” This quick read covers the basics, and helps answer your questions about tooth replacement and achieving the smile of your dreams.