Help, I’ve broken a tooth

Teeth might be strong, but they’re not impervious to damage and occasionally that might extend beyond general wear and tear to an actual break or chip. If you’ve broken a tooth or chipped it, here’s what you need to know…

How teeth break

Although it’s not an everyday occurrence, we see teeth break or chip for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Trauma and accidents, like being hit in the face or falling
  • Teeth grinding
  • Decay-induced breaks where the tooth has been weakened
  • Biting down on something hard

So, what should you do?

A broken or chipped tooth will require a visit to the dentist as soon as possible for either emergency repairs or restorative work.

If the break has exposed the nerve, chances are the tooth will bleed and hurt. In this case, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply gauze to stop the bleeding, then use an ice pack ice on your face to reduce any swelling.

Treatment options

The type of treatment you require to restore your teeth will depend on the severity of the damage and the reason behind it.

But here are just some of the treatments commonly used:

Filling – If just a small piece of tooth enamel has chipped off and it’s unlikely to be seen, the area can be fixed using a filling.

Bonding – Bonding uses a composite material designed to resemble the colour of the tooth. This can be used to repair small chips to the front teeth and is shaped to resemble the original tooth.

Veneers – A dental veneer is another option to restore the look and function of a front tooth that has been chipped or broken. Veneers are a thin shell of tooth-coloured porcelain or resin composite that covers the front of the tooth. A thick section is used to fill the broken area.

Crowns – If a large section of tooth has broken off or the reason behind it is decay, a crown might be required. In this instance the original tooth is ground or filed down and the crown or cap is applied over the top. Crowns are available in metal and porcelain.

Root canal – If you have broken off the entire tooth but the root remains intact, the treatment will most likely involve a root canal. Once the root canal is complete, a post is then inserted and a section is built up to accommodate a crown.

Preventing a break or chip

When it comes to the health of your teeth, the best treatment option is prevention. To protect your teeth against chips and breaks:

  • Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports
  • Visit your dentist each year to prevent decay
  • Consult your dentist if you believe you may be grinding your teeth and consider the option of a mouthguard when sleeping
  • Avoid biting down on hard items such as ice

And if you do suffer a tooth break or chip, see your dentist as soon as possible.

About Brite Dental

Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.

Offering a full range of dental services ranging, from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.

You can learn more about our dental services, or contact us to book your next appointment.