Cracked or Broken Teeth

Are you currently suffering from broken teeth? No matter how healthy teeth are, they still tend to crack or break at times. Broken teeth can cause a handful of issues, and they also have the potential to be extremely painful. Whether grinding, trauma, biting, or anything else caused your broken teeth, we’re glad to help you fix them. It’s important to have broken teeth looked at by the dentist as soon as possible.


What To Do If You Have One or More Broken Teeth


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  1. Call our emergency dentist number (402-840-9783) if it’s after business hours, otherwise, call any of our locations.
  2. Using lukewarm water, rinse your mouth and the tooth fragment gently.
  3. If there it’s bleeding at all, apply gentle pressure with a cloth or bite down softly on a gauze pad.
  4. Use ice or a cold compress to minimize swelling.
  5. If it hurts, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller to ease the pain.

How we treat broken teeth depends largely upon the severity of the break. If possible, we may place the tooth fragment back into your tooth. Be sure to bring the piece with you if you still have it. If a crack or break extends to a tooth’s root, we may need to extract it. In some cases, we can just perform root canal therapy to save the tooth. If we do need to remove your tooth, your dentist will run you through the options for replacing a tooth so that you can be aware of the different solutions out there.


Types of Broken Teeth

Dentists use the phrase “tooth fracture” often. This is because a “tooth fractures” have a large range of severity, and this terminology is a general way to say “broken teeth” without specifying how broken. Some tooth fractures require little to no treatment. Many others require more involved procedures.


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Chipped Teeth

Damaged enamel on the outside of the tooth is the most common cause of chipped teeth. In general, chipped teeth tend to be minor, since the pulp or nerve of the teeth is usually unaffected by them. This means that decay can’t get beneath your tooth’s layers of defense to attack the tooth’s root. For chips, dentists usually can usually repair them with a simple bonding material.


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Craze Lines

Craze lines, otherwise known as surface cracks, are tiny cracks in a tooth’s enamel. Most people have a few craze lines on their teeth but hardly notice them. This is because craze lines don’t typically cause any pain or sensitivity, and are not a result of decay. Luckily, craze lines also don’t require treatment of any kind. If you do notice craze lines, don’t worry. You’re not in any danger, and if you simply don’t like the way they look, then our cosmetic dentistry team can help you address them.


Cracked Teeth

Some people develop deeper cracks in their teeth than mere craze lines. If that is the case, be sure to see your dentist immediately. Many times, depending on the break, we can place a filling that will solve the problem and prevent the spread of decay. Be sure to see your dentist frequently to catch signs of a cracked tooth before it gets much worse.


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Severely Broken Teeth

Broken teeth usually are not very severe. However, if a tooth breaks significantly, it’s likely to expose the tooth’s root, nerves, and blood supply. When this happens, you’ll experience immediate pain, as the nerve of your tooth has come into contact with the air in your mouth. If you have one or more severely broken teeth, you need to make an appointment with your emergency dentist as soon as possible. They’ll probably need to remove your tooth’s root and place a crown over the top to protect your tooth from future problems.

Split Teeth

Often, a tooth’s roots or crown becomes damaged as a result of teeth breaking. If this happens, your tooth will become much more susceptible to infection. Additionally, your tooth will probably hurt a lot. If it isn’t too bad, it’s possible for us to repair split teeth using a crown. If you split your tooth’s root, however, the crown won’t have a solid foundation and will need to be removed.


Frequently Asked Questions about Broken Teeth

Can I do anything at home for my broken tooth?

As with many dental issues, over-the-counter painkillers can help you relieve pain and keep the swelling down. If the pain isn’t entirely localized and your face is hurting, you can use an ice pack or cold compress to ease the pain. Since there isn’t much you can do on your own about a broken tooth, be sure to call the dentist immediately, as the problem will only worsen without treatment.

Are broken teeth considered a dental emergency?

It depends on the severity of the break. In any case, if a broken tooth exposes the nerves beneath it, it needs to be treated before becoming infected. Exposed nerves are a dental emergency, and you should treat them promptly. Otherwise, broken teeth may not be emergencies, though they should still be treated as quickly as possible to avoid more complicated dental work in the future.


broken teeth

What’s the cost to fix a broken tooth if I don’t have insurance?

Without seeing your tooth, it’s tough to offer an accurate estimate. Each broken tooth is a unique case. For those that don’t have insurance, we do partner with Lincoln Dental Plans to give our patients access to affordable dental care. Click the link to their website to learn more.

What will the dentist do for a cracked tooth?

When a tooth has a sizable fracture, dentists usually use a crown to cover and protect it. However, if tooth decay is present at the nerve or within the tooth, the dentist will likely perform root canal therapy, which also results in using a crown.


 Check out the “What can you do for a broken filling” video


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Our location is a proud member of Nebraska Family Dentistry. We’re one of multiple NFD locations, some of which are even open on weeknights and weekends for your convenience.

At any of NFD locations, you can find compassionate care from professionals that strive to provide excellent dental treatment to every patient. In everything we do, comfort, satisfaction, and quality dental work are our standards.


Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple locations!
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