What to Do With a Broken Tooth? Minimising the Feeling of Discomfort

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When you suffer from a broken tooth, it can cause a great amount of discomfort. If you suffer from this injury, you should know what to do with a broken tooth to better your chances of preserving it. 

The best thing that you can do is to seek emergency dental care immediately. You can also take these steps at home to help ease some of the discomfort caused by the broken tooth and prevent infection.


What to Do with a Broken Tooth: Before Your Appointment 

Your teeth can break, chip, or loosen due to trauma. If you experience an injury resulting in a broken tooth, you should visit the dentist as soon a possible. While waiting to receive emergency dental care, these are the steps you can take to save your tooth.  


  • Find relief from discomfort

Rinse your mouth with water and apply pressure to the area with a clean cotton ball or gauze to stop the bleeding. Then, apply a cold compress to minimise swelling. Take over-the-counter medicine for relief if you feel discomfort around the broken tooth


  • Pick your tooth up by the crown

broken tooth emergency dental care bundooraLook for the remnants of the broken tooth. When handling the tooth, avoid touching the root and only touch the crown or the chewing surface of the tooth. 

Clean it gently with milk to prevent the root from drying out.

Unlike with water, milk won’t cause the cells on the root’s surface to swell and burst. 


  • Position your tooth back in place

The best chance for tooth preservation is to insert it back into the socket. Try to insert the tooth gently back into the gum. Ensure the root enters first. If you cannot insert it back into the gum, you can put it in a glass of milk or saline solution. 


  • Visit your emergency dentist as soon as possible

An emergency dentist should be contacted within 30 minutes of breaking your tooth. Seeing an emergency dentist quickly increases your chances of preserving the tooth. Depending on the size and nature of the break, your dentist may repair a broken tooth using one of several restoration options.  


What to Do with a Broken Tooth: Restoration Options 

Your dentist will discuss your treatment options based on the condition of your broken tooth to restore your smile. 


  • Root canal

A broken tooth with exposed nerves is at risk of infection from the bacteria in your mouth. Symptoms of infected tooth pulp include discomfort, changes in colour, or sensitivity to heat. If the pulp tissue is not removed in time, the tooth could become infected and require extraction.

The dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp and clean the inside of the tooth. Then, they repair and seal the tooth with a temporary filling. You may have to return a few days later to have a dental crown installed to restore the tooth fully. 


  • Fillings

If only a small portion of your tooth enamel was broken, your dentist may be able to restore the damage with a dental filling. White fillings are made of either porcelain or composite resin materials and blend naturally with your smile, making them more aesthetically pleasing than metal alternatives. 


  • Dental crown

In cases where ¾ of the broken tooth or more is irreparable, your dentist may use a dental crown to protect the tooth from further damage or decay while providing structural support. 

Dental crowns are available in porcelain, metal, resin, or ceramic, each offering unique benefits. Porcelain crowns can be made to look identical to the original tooth, but metal alloys are stronger. A dental crown requires a second visit to place the custom crown permanently. You will receive a temporary crown at your emergency dental care appointment. 



How to Prevent Broken Teeth?

To avoid broken teeth, take these steps to improve and protect your oral health. 


  • Wear a mouthguard 

Always wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports, such as rugby and hockey. If you grind your teeth at night, a nightguard can also prevent damage to your teeth. Radiant Smiles Dental Group offers custom mouthguards to ensure a perfect fit.


  • Be careful what you eat

To protect your teeth and prevent unwanted cracks and breaks, be cautious about biting into hard foods like candies, popcorn, olives, or shelled nuts and seeds. 


  • Visit the dentist regularly 

Visit your dentist for dental cleanings and dental exams to prevent decay and cavities at least twice a year. Your dentist can detect cracks in your teeth and make repairs before they worsen, resulting in a broken tooth


Get Emergency Dental Care Right Away

You can’t heal a broken tooth at home. When deciding what to do with a broken tooth, remember you need to take action right away. Call your dentist within 30 minutes to discuss the severity of the break and the available treatment options. 

We offer emergency dental care at Radiant Smiles Dental Group. Call us on (03) 9000 0537 as soon as possible to get treatment following oral trauma. One of our emergency dentists will work quickly to repair your broken tooth and preserve it wherever possible. 



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


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