How Does a Dentist Fix Broken Teeth?

Have you ever chipped or broke a tooth and required dental care to fix it?

Maybe you are experiencing that right now, and that is what brought you here to read this article. Chipping or breaking a tooth can happen in a variety of ways, including biting on hard objects like ice, falling and hitting your mouth, or getting hit in the mouth.

If you are experiencing a broken or chipped tooth, call your dentist ASAP; this can be considered a dental emergency. If you do not see your dentist, your tooth can become more damaged, experience infection, and you could ultimately experience tooth loss.

You can find a list of the types of cracked teeth at the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) website. To visit AAE site, and see a list of cracked teeth, click here.

Below are several measures you should take at home before seeing the dentist:

  • If you are in pain, take an OTC pain reliever
  • Wash your mouth out by rinsing it with salt water
  • If your broken tooth is sharp, try covering it with a piece of sugar-free chewing gum to avoid cuts
  • Avoid eating if possible
  • If your tooth has been completely knocked out, you should put it in milk and contact your dentist immediately

Below are treatment options for a broken or cracked tooth:

Dental Filling/Bonding

If the damage to your tooth is small enough, your dentist will be able to repair the damage using a filling. If the damage is to one of your front teeth, the dentist will use bonding to correct the imperfection, using a tooth-colored composite resin. A filling or bonding is a relatively easy procedure that is minimally invasive.

Dental Cap/Crown

If a substantial amount of damage occurs, and a simple filling cannot correct the problem, your dentist may opt to use a crown to correct your problem. A dental crown is designed to restore the shape of your tooth, in order to improve its functionality and appearance. A crown, or cap, will be placed over your remaining tooth and will protect and strengthen your tooth.

Dental crowns can take more than one appointment to complete. However, there are some dental offices that have specialized digital milling technology that allows them to perform same day crowns.


If your front tooth is chipped or broken, a porcelain veneer can restore it to its original shape, size, and color. A veneer is a thin shell that is made up of porcelain. The veneer will have a thinner section that is applied to your tooth and a thicker section where the chipped tooth no longer exists.

A Root Canal

When you break a tooth, it may expose the inner part of your tooth, called the pulp. Your pulp contains nerves and blood vessels. If the pulp is exposed, bacteria can enter the area, causing pain, sensitivity, discoloration, and can even cause the pulp to die. If your pulp tissue dies, you will need to receive a root canal to remove this tissue and clean the canal. After this is done, you will receive a dental crown, or something similar, to seal your tooth.

Dental Implants

If you crack your tooth, and the crack extends to underneath your gum line, your tooth will no longer be able to be treated. Since your tooth cannot be treated, it can not be saved and will require an extraction. Once your tooth has been extracted, a dental implant can be placed as an anchor for some kind of tooth restoration, such as a dental crown.

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