I cracked a tooth! Now what?

  • Posted on: Aug 11 2017

It can happen to any New Yorker.

One day, you’re just minding your own business, eating your favorite food, and *CRACK!* Suddenly, something feels off in your mouth. Soon, you figure out that a portion of one of your teeth is missing! Yes–you’ve managed to break your tooth. Damaging a tooth in this manner can be worrisome and overwhelming, especially if it has never happened before. If you ever find yourself in this situation, keep the following points in mind.

First, as the saying goes, keep calm and carry on. As strange as the sensation might be, breaking, chipping, or completely losing a tooth is a pretty common occurrence. Take comfort in the fact that you are not the first individual to experience this, and there are plenty of dentists, including ours, who can help you find a solution. Rinse your mouth out with water, and apply pressure to any bleeding areas. If you are experiencing swelling, feel free to apply a cold pack. It might also be wise to take an over-the-counter pain reliever to combat any aching.

Still, don’t delay treatment. Contact a dentist as soon as you can to make an appointment. The dentist should provide a professional evaluation of the situation and possibilities for getting it fixed. Be sure to report if you are in any pain. When a tooth cracks, it can sometimes damage the root or surrounding tissue, and that can be quite uncomfortable. Additionally, if your tooth broke off at an angle, you might be cutting it against your tongue or other parts of your mouth. Resolving the damage fast can get you back to a comfortable state.

The approach we take to repairing your broken tooth depends on the extent of the damage. One option is dental bonding, which is ideal for improving the appearance of chips and cracks. With this method, we sculpt a thin layer of plastic to fit and replace missing parts of a tooth. The plastic is bonded to the remaining parts of the tooth using a special light, and in about two hours, your “hybrid” tooth will look brand new.

If the damage is severe enough, we might end up performing a root canal or extracting the tooth completely. In the latter situation, we can replace your original tooth with an implant that will be as sturdy, if not stronger, than your natural tooth that was broken. Implants have come a long way since they were first introduced to the dental world. Today’s options look incredibly realistic and last for many years through the support of metal rods.

Although chips and cracks can be caused by anything from an accident to biting down on something too hard, one of the most common culprits is teeth that are weakened or decayed from poor oral hygiene. To prevent future damage, it’s important to establish and maintain a tooth care routine that involves regular brushing, flossing, and dental check ups to look for any signs of weakness.

Life happens–and that means that chipped or otherwise damaged teeth do, too. If you find yourself with a broken tooth, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask us about your options. We’ll have you back to your full, beautiful smile in no time.

Posted in: Dental Bonding