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Handling a Broken Tooth: Quick Steps and Long-Term Solutions

A broken tooth can be a distressing experience, whether it’s due to an accidental fall, a sports injury, or even biting down on something hard. While it’s undoubtedly unsettling, knowing what to do in such a situation can make a significant difference in minimizing pain and preventing further damage. That’s why our maxillofacial prosthodontist is here to help.

Are you currently dealing with a broken or cracked tooth? Contact Gary Horblitt, D.D.S., in Fairfield, CT, as soon as possible. Our team can help you repair the damage and fight the pain quickly. Just call (203) 335-1011 for speedy care!

In this blog post, Dr. Horblitt explores the immediate steps to take if you have a broken tooth, as well as the long-term solutions to ensure your oral health remains intact.

Immediate Steps

Here’s what to do immediately after breaking a tooth:

1. Remain Calm

As soon as you realize you have a broken tooth, try to stay calm. Panic can exacerbate the situation and make it harder to think clearly about the necessary steps to take.

2. Rinse Your Mouth

Gently swishing warm water around the mouth helps to remove any debris or blood. Be cautious not to use very hot or cold water, as extreme temperatures can worsen sensitivity.

3. Control Pain and Swelling

Over-the-counter pain relievers can reduce pain and minimize inflammation (we recommend ibuprofen or acetaminophen). However, avoid placing aspirin directly on the affected area, as it may lead to additional complications.

4. Use a Cold Compress

To reduce swelling and numb the pain, try applying a cloth-wrapped ice pack to the affected side of the face.

Seeking Immediate Dental Care

After assessing the situation, it’s time to take the next steps:

1. Contact Your Dentist

Schedule an emergency dental appointment as soon as possible. Explain the situation and, if applicable, inform them that you have a fragment of the broken tooth.

2. Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions

Your dentist will provide specific guidance based on the severity of the break. This may include:

  • Advice on pain management
  • Recommendations for over-the-counter medications
  • Instructions for temporary measures until your appointment

Long-Term Solutions

Your dentist can assess the extent of the damage and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. This may involve dental bonding, a crown, or in severe cases, a root canal and a crown.

1. Dental Bonding

For minor cracks or chips, dental bonding may be a matching and suitable option. This involves applying a tooth-colored resin to the damaged area, matching and shaping it to match your natural tooth, and then hardening it with a special light.

2. Dental Crown

If the damage is more extensive, a dental crown may be a better option. This involves placing a cap over the broken tooth to restore its shape, strength, and appearance.

3. Root Canal

Breakages that affect the inner pulp of a tooth may require root canal therapy. This involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the area, and sealing it to prevent infection. Fortunately, this procedure has a 97% success rate over a ten-year span.

Have a broken tooth? Dr. Horblitt can help!

A broken tooth can be an alarming experience, but prompt action and professional dental care can significantly impact the outcome. So, don’t delay – contact Dr. Gary Horblitt in Fairfield, CT, as soon as possible. You can reach us after hours by calling (203) 335-1011 for more help.


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