How to Treat a Cracked Tooth

Did your tooth just crack or chip unexpectedly? Not sure what steps to take to preserve your smile and minimize discomfort? This quick guide from Clinton Dental Center explains how to treat a cracked tooth.

What to Do Immediately After Your Tooth Cracks

A cracked tooth may seem alarming, but try not to panic. Most tooth chips and cracks are relatively easy to resolve. Here are the steps to take after your tooth cracks:

  1. Rinse your mouth out with water to clean blood and debris.
  2. Apply a cold compress to your cheek to minimize swelling. Hold it there off and on in 15-minute intervals, as needed.
  3. If there are jagged edges on your tooth that feel uncomfortable, you can use dental wax to cover those edges until you can see the dentist.
  4. Use ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or other over-the-counter medicines to ease the pain, as needed. Do not use topical oral pain treatments because those will likely sting the exposed parts of your tooth. 
  5. Contact your dentist as quickly as possible. If you are in intense pain, you may need to reach out after hours or visit the nearest emergency center for pain relief. If not, contact your dentist when they open in the morning to schedule an appointment.

Check out At-Home Tooth Pain Relief for Dental Emergencies and How to React in a Dental Emergency for more information.

How Dentists Treat Cracked Teeth

The way dentists treat cracked teeth will depend on the severity of the crack. A small chip could be fixed with color-matched dental bonding, but a deep crack may affect the structural integrity of the tooth. Your dentist may recommend getting a standalone crown, bridge, implant-supported crown, extraction, filling, root canal, or any number of other treatment options.

The best way to find out how to treat your cracked tooth is to schedule a dentist appointment. Your dentist can compare the pros and cons of different treatment methods to help you make an informed care decision. Consider the short- and long-term effects of the treatments, and decide what is most important to you. From there, you can restore your smile and move forward from the accident.

What If I’m OK with the Crack? Do I Have to Get It Fixed?

Most cracked teeth aren’t limited to cosmetic issues. A small chip off the edge of your tooth may not need full reconstruction, but it’s still something that needs to be monitored for future issues. If you do not correct the crack or chip early on, it is more likely to turn into a serious issue down the road. Talk to your dentist about your cracked tooth repair options to protect your nerves and enamel from future wear. The nonjudgmental dentists and dental hygienists at Clinton Dental Center will gladly assist you!

Clinton Dental Center
52892 Gratiot Ave
Chesterfield Township, MI 48051

Call (586) 949-5363 to schedule an appointment for cracked tooth repair or general dentistry services.