Can a Broken Front Tooth be Saved?

This article is a part of our Q&A series in which we give detailed answers to our readers' questions. Have a question? Don't hesitate and send it to us to get a detailed answer!

The sudden realization that a front tooth is broken can be alarming and distressing. The good news is that advancements in dental technology have made it possible to save a broken front tooth in many cases. This article explores the various aspects of dealing with a broken front tooth and the options available for saving it. The ability to save a broken front tooth depends on the extent of the damage. The break could be a minor chip, a fracture that extends into the tooth’s pulp, or a complete breakage of a large portion of the tooth. Evaluating the severity is the first step in determining the appropriate course of action.

Yes, in most cases a broken front tooth can often be saved with the right treatment, it all depends on the extent of the damage to the tooth. If the tooth is only chipped or slightly cracked, the dentist may be able to repair it by bonding the broken part or replacing it with bonding material. If the tooth is more severely damaged, the dentist may recommend a crown. It’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible if you have a broken front tooth, as this can help to prevent further damage and ensure the best possible outcome.

Immediate Steps to Take

When you break a front tooth, immediate action can sometimes be the difference between saving or losing the tooth. This is a dental emergency!
1. Remain Calm: Though it might be distressing, staying calm helps you take the right steps.
2. Collect the Broken Piece: If a substantial part of the tooth has broken off, pick it up by the crown (avoid touching the root) and store it in a container with milk or saliva.
3. Keep the Area Clean: Rinse your mouth gently with warm water.
4. Apply a Cold Compress: If the injury affects your face use a cold compress to reducing any swelling and relieving pain. Do not use it on your tooth, keep your mouth shut and don’t mouth breathe if possible.
5. See a Dentist Promptly: Contact your dentist immediately. If possible, see them on the same day to improve the chances of saving the tooth. Inform them that this is dental emergency. If your dental the office is not able to help you look for another one.

Options for Saving a Broken Front Tooth

Depending on the severity and nature of the break, various options can be considered to save and restore a broken front tooth.
1. Temporary Restoration: At the first appointment, usually due to lack of time, you may be offered a temporary restoration that should protect affected tooth for upcoming days. Date of the final restoration should be scheduled at that point.
2. Dental Bonding: For minor chips, dental bonding is a common procedure. A tooth-colored composite resin is applied to the tooth, shaped to match the other teeth, and then hardened with a special light. This procedure is generally fast and minimally invasive.
3. Veneers: If a front tooth is broken but the root is intact, a veneer can be an option. A veneer is a thin shell made of porcelain or composite material that is bonded to the front of the tooth, restoring its appearance and function.
4. Root Canal and Crown: If the fracture extends into the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary. After the root canal, a crown is typically placed over the tooth to restore its strength and appearance.
5. Dental Implants: In cases where the tooth is severely broken and cannot be saved, a dental implant may be the best option. This involves removing the broken tooth and replacing it with an artificial tooth that is anchored into the jawbone.

The Importance of Follow-Up Care

After your tooth has been repaired, it’s essential to follow your dentist’s advice for aftercare. This might include avoiding certain foods, not biting directly with the repaired tooth, and practicing good oral hygiene.

Bottom line

The possibility of saving a broken front tooth depends on various factors including the extent of the break, the overall health of the tooth, and how quickly you seek dental attention. The advancements in dental care provide numerous options for effectively dealing with a broken front tooth. It’s essential to act promptly and follow through with the necessary treatment and aftercare to ensure the best possible outcome for your dental health.

This Q&A series article is complete and was published on October 25, 2018, and last updated on July 16, 2023.

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