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fractured teeth

What To Do If You Have Broken A Tooth

What To Do If You Have Broken A Tooth

Experiencing a dental injury is never fun. If you have cracked a tooth, fractured a tooth, broken a tooth or split a tooth the good news is it may be able to be saved. 

In the instance where you have a dental injury, it is important that you seek the help of a dental professional as soon as possible. A good rule of thumb is to remember the faster you act, and the better the outcome will be. 

Most dental trauma result from a sporting injury or accident of some sort. The most common injuries we see are chipped. Dislodged or knocked out teeth we see less likely, however, if you have knocked out a tooth this issue is more severe and if not managed correctly at the time of injury can cause serious repercussions.

If you have suffered a dental injury and are not sure what to do, the below information includes a few tips to minimise damage as well as pain. 

Schedule An Emergency Appointment With Your Dentist

While your injury may not appear severe, it is important to see your dentist ASAP ( While it may not be obvious neighbouring teeth may have also suffered trauma. Acting immediately helps to decrease the risk of developing further complications down the track, therefore, saving you pain, treatment, time and money. 

Our experienced team is trained to help save injured teeth where possible so remember the faster you book an appointment the better chance we have of helping you.

What To Do If You Have Broken A Tooth

The best thing to do if you have broken a tooth is to seek professional help from your dentist. However, these simple steps will help you look after the tooth until your appointment.

  1. Use warm water to rinse your mouth.
  2. Apply firm pressure to any bleeding areas by gently biting on a piece of clean gauze or a clean rolled up handkerchief.  Continue to bite down firmly until bleeding has subsided. 
  3. Applying a cold pack wrapped in a tea towel to your lip or cheek may help with pain and swelling. We do not recommend placing anything cold directly on your tooth as this may cause further pain.
  4. In most cases, cracked teeth are difficult to see and therefore you may not notice any damage. It is important to look out for symptoms such as tooth pain when biting in a specific way. You will notice the pain will feel sharper and much different to the dull ache of a cavity or a dental abscess.

What To Do If You Have Knocked Out A Tooth

The good news is if you have acted quickly by booking an appointment at the time of injury we may be able to reattach the tooth even if it has been knocked out completely. In the event that you have completely knocked the tooth out clean, we recommend that you follow the following steps to give yourself the best chance to keep your natural tooth. 

  1. Avoid touching the root surface if possible. It is important that you treat the knocked out tooth very gently to avoid further damage. 
  2. Rinse the tooth with water very gently if it requires cleaning. We do not recommend scrubbing the tooth or using any chemicals to clean the tooth. 
  3. If possible reposition the tooth in its socket. If you are unable to do this place the tooth in a glass of milk.

What To Expect At Your Dental Visit

The severity of your injury will indicate the treatment you will receive. Your dentist will carry out a thorough examination in order to determine the best treatment outcome to help repair your existing teeth. 

In most cases fractured or chipped teeth are able to be repaired by either reattaching the broken piece or by placing a tooth coloured filling. In the event that the tooth has broken substantially, a crown may be recommended to restore the tooth.

If you find eating or drinking cold food is painful, the inside of the tooth may be exposed or damaged. In the event of this occurring root canal treatment may be recommended. A dislodged tooth may be repositioned after moving sideways, out of, or into the gum. Again root canal treatment may be recommended to make sure the tooth reattaches correctly.


At your appointment, we will make sure you have not suffered from any other unnoticed dental or facial injuries. We will also gently place the tooth back in its socket. A wire may be placed to stabilise the tooth and this will be in place for a few weeks. If a root connection is not able to be reestablished by itself, again root canal may be recommended.

Other tooth injuries which may occur include broken/ fractured cusps, cracked or split teeth. In some cases, root fractures can occur. In the event of a root fracture, tooth removal and root canal treatment may be recommended. Again as with any dental injury, it is important that you see a dentist as soon as possible for an assessment and treatment. 

What To Do If Your Child Has Broken A Tooth

If a child's baby (primary) teeth are injured, they are able to be restored. In some cases, we may not recommend repairing dislodged or knocked out baby teeth. The reason for this is that we risk further damage to the permanent tooth which is still developing underneath.


If a child's adult teeth are still developing it is important to ensure careful attention if they suffer injury. It is important to schedule regular follow ups with your dentist to make sure the root grows correctly in order for your child to keep his/her natural tooth.

The success of your tooth repair comes down to how quick you are able to see your dentist once injury occurs. 

We have a team of experienced dentists and dental nurses to help give you the best chance of keeping your natural tooth. Call us on 9382 8266 if you require dental assistance or click the book now button to schedule your emergency appointment.