Your teeth are incredibly strong and designed to put up with decades of use and intense bite force, but the enamel outer layer is not indestructible. Car accidents, sports injuries, falls, and other physical traumas can cause a chipped or broken tooth in an instant.

Modern dentistry makes it easier than ever to get the repairs you need quickly and safely. However, you need to act fast and see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Here’s what to do with a broken tooth while you’re waiting to see a dentist.

 

What to do with a Broken Tooth: Rinse and Protect

It’s essential to keep the chipped or broken tooth clean and to wash away any debris that may have gotten inside. Since mouthwash can cause the injury significant discomfort, use warm salt water to wash the affected tooth instead. You should also gather and rinse the broken pieces, then seal them in a clean container for transport. 

If the tooth’s edge is jagged, try to protect it with dental paraffin wax or sugar-free gum. This can help prevent cutting your tongue or inside of your cheek. It also seals the tooth against bacteria, which can cause an infection if the dentin or pulp is exposed.

An emergency dentist can get you an appointment within a few hours or even sooner if the damage is serious. Avoid eating or drinking anything other than water during this time, as the food debris and chewing motions may make the discomfort worse.

You can take over the counter pain medication if needed to reduce discomfort temporarily, but make sure to let your emergency dentist know that you’ve taken it.

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Broken Tooth Treatment: Dental Filling and Bonding

Small chips, including those caused by tongue and lip piercings, may be able to be filled with dental bonding. This non-invasive fix can be done in a single visit. 

Your emergency dentist carefully patches the chip with a tooth-coloured composite resin to restore your tooth to a natural shape. Although some minor filing or drilling may be required to prepare the tooth’s damaged surface, the work required should be minimal as long as you came in to see an emergency dentist quickly after the chip occurred.

 

Broken Tooth Treatment: Same-Day Repairs

Handling a more seriously broken tooth can be tricky, especially if it impedes your ability to eat and drink. One emergency dental care option is a CEREC crown, which uses a CAD/CAM digital scanning system to create a custom-fitted crown for you while you wait.

This is a fantastic procedure for anyone who needs a crown to get back to their daily life as soon as possible. The CEREC crown is carved from a solid block of zirconia to your mouth’s exact specifications. 

In some cases, a broken tooth may be a poor candidate for CEREC due to the breakage’s depth and if it extends below the gum line. In this situation, you will require a temporary crown and fitting for a traditional crown.

 

What to Do With a Broken Tooth? 

Gordon Family Dental serves the Upper North Shore area in Sydney with emergency dental care, fillings, crowns, check-ups, and other dentistry treatments. We know what to do with a broken tooth and can restore your smile. Contact us on (02) 9159 6163 to book your appointment.