Cracked tooth? Here’s the latest emergency protocols (2021)

Top advice for dentists


‘Don’t panic’ – Tooth Cracked in Half: What to Do Right Away (Emergency Protocols) 2021

1 Oct 2021

Cracked teeth are like a ‘run’ in nylon stockings—not that many of us wear them anymore—you have to stop the crack quickly before it spreads further. Fast action is essential. Knowing what to do can mean the difference between saving your tooth or losing it altogether.

If You Break a Tooth

The first thing to do if you break or crack a tooth is to try to locate the piece that broke off. Depending on how the tooth cracked, it may be possible to bond the broken piece back into place. Store the fragment in a sealed container, so that you won’t lose it. Be sure to cover it with something like milk or saline solution to keep it moist. Contact solution is also fine to use. If none of those are available, you can use tap water if you add a pinch of salt.

Contact our office to let us know you broke your tooth. In a best-case scenario, broken tooth fragments should be bonded within the first two hours.

Severe Cracks in Teeth

Sometimes teeth can crack without pieces of them breaking off. Cracked teeth are typically very painful to chew with. Especially when you’re releasing pressure, as opposed to simply biting down on them.

Depending on the depth of the crack, treatment can range from a basic filling to a crown or even a root canal. Thankfully, our office can provide single-visit root canal therapy for maximum comfort and efficiency.

severe tooth crack emergency

Why Treatment Can’t Wait

An extremely durable layer of enamel surrounds each tooth. When enamel cracks or breaks, the weaker tooth structures underneath become exposed. This scenario can lead to premature wear, decay, and additional breakage in that area if left untreated.

Over time—and depending on the depth of the crack—the nerve of your tooth can become infected or traumatised. At that point, the entire tooth is at risk. By covering the tooth with a crown, you can extend the expected lifetime of the tooth and minimise the risk of an abscess. However, severe cracks and fractures that reach down into the roots of teeth may require an emergency dental extraction.

Should I Have My Tooth Pulled?

If your tooth is beyond the point of restoration, it’s best to extract the remaining portion. Proactive tooth removal will help treat pain and avoid secondary infection. It can also protect your adjacent teeth. Although dental extractions can provide immediate relief, you’ll still want to develop a long-term plan to replace that tooth when possible. Otherwise, the extra space can lead to shifting and changes in your overall tooth alignment. Our experienced dentists can help you decide what the best short and long-term plan is for your situation.

Need an Emergency Dentist?

Our Sydney and Five Dock dentists offer emergency dental care for all ages. If you’re in pain or suspect a cracked tooth, contact us straightaway. We’re available to answer emergency calls 24 hours a day, including weekends. Call now for an appointment.

Contact Our Doctors Straightaway

Dental emergencies such as a cracked tooth might easily lead to complications if left untreated. Remember, your health is our priority and our highly professional team is always here to look after you.

Need more dental advice in Sydney CBD?

Contact our friendly team.


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Dr Manish Shah

Dr. Manish Shah is a cosmetic dentist with a special interest in porcelain veneers, dental implants and Invisalign in Sydney. He is also a medical doctor with an expertise in sleep & craniofacial pain medicine practising at Smile Concepts.