Dental Emergency – Chipped Tooth: What do I do?

Even though our teeth are strong, an accident or dental emergency can happen. Sometimes, an accident can chip your tooth. When this happens, it can be scary since the prospect of figuring out how to get your tooth fixed is quite overwhelming.

If you chip a tooth, do not panic. It is important to follow certain procedures to ensure your tooth stays healthy.

Types of tooth chips and how to repair them

Here are a few tips on how to handle your broken tooth. Learn what to do before you go to the dentist. See what solutions are available for you to get your tooth fixed.

Broken Cusps

The very end of your tooth is known as the cusp. This part may sustain damage that is shallow enough not to cause pain or significant discomfort. It is often only a cosmetic injury.In these cases, filling with materials may be necessary only to improve the shape or appearance of the tooth.

Call your dentist to schedule an appointment. They will likely understand your concern but will say it is not a dental emergency.


Many chips do not require treatment as they are small enough to go unnoticed and not affect the patient. Dentists can repair severe chips with filling materials to prevent worsening or to improve your smile.

If you can notice your chip, call the dentist to discuss filling the missing piece. Otherwise, it is not a dental emergency.


A cracked tooth is very noticeable. The crack will run from the top of the tooth to the bottom. If it is bad enough, the dentist may suggest root canal therapy and crown application to prevent further damage or full loss of the tooth.

Call your dentist as soon as possible if you have a cracked tooth.

Nerve Exposing Breaks

These serious breaks are particularly painful since air, saliva and bacteria interact with the nerve. Repair can include crown and a root canal therapy to return the tooth to a healthy condition and prevent further nerve damage.

Much like cracking, call your dentist promptly if you have unbearable tooth pain.

Breaking Due to Decay

If you have tooth decay or gum disease, breaking can occur. In this case, the tooth crumbles from the inside out.

Your dentist will flush and evacuate the cavity to restore the tooth. In many cases, the process of restoration is quite extensive and involves drilling into bone or full tooth removal.

Caring for a Damaged Tooth

It is understandable to panic when a tooth chips or breaks. Your teeth are an important part of your life, so sustaining sudden damage to them can be an unpleasant experience.

Follow these steps to care for your tooth while awaiting treatment.

First, you should rinse your mouth out with warm water. This will help to remove debris, clean any open wounds or sores and reduce some of the pain associated with chipping a tooth.

Put gauze on the affected area to stop the bleeding and apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth to reduce swelling.

Lastly, find an emergency dentist in your area.

Do You Need to See a Dentist?

We understand how frightening it can be to break a tooth or suffer from another dental emergency. Call our office to schedule an appointment to repair your damaged tooth.

Request an appointment here: or call Taylor Dental Care at (801) 252-4440 for an appointment in our Sandy office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Emergency Dentist.

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