Help! You’ve tripped and knocked your tooth out. What do you do? Breaking a tooth is not uncommon as you may think. Something as innocent as chomping down on ice cubes can fracture or cause your tooth to break. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Broken Tooth? FAQ

A tooth that’s chipped, fractured or knocked out is considered a broken tooth. Depending on the severity, you may not even know your tooth is broken until you have a routine dental exam. Unless it’s a completely broken, hairline fractures are usually diagnosed with x-rays.

How to Save a Broken Tooth

If your broken tooth is a direct result of trauma to your face or head and accompanied by a headache or dizziness, call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room.

If you only suffered a minor mishap, make a dental appointment immediately. Because bacteria can infect the damaged area, even the tiniest of fractures warrant attention.

Tooth Preservation

If your tooth is knocked out, there are ways to preserve it. If re-implanted within 30 minutes, a permanent tooth has the highest success rate.

Gather the tooth or teeth fragments, making sure only to touch the very top of the tooth. If possible, avoid touching the root. Handle carefully to avoid causing further damage.

Rinse the broken tooth in a bowl of lukewarm water for no more than 10 seconds to loosen any debris. Do not scrape the enamel or use an alcohol-based astringent on the broken fragments.

Gently rinse your mouth with warm water and if possible, reinsert the broken tooth into the correct socket. Gently bite down on a sterile gauze pad to hold the tooth in place until you see the dentist.


The exact treatment will depend on the type of break sustained and how much of the tooth is damaged. In general, minor chips or fractures can be repaired easily with bonding. If the root of the tooth is exposed or damaged, you may require a root canal to prevent infection.

If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, don’t panic. We specialize in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Help is only a phone call away. Contact us today for an appointment and let us put a smile on your face.

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