What are the Treatments for Broken Teeth?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2018
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If someone has broken teeth, a dentist has a few different techniques to fix it. The option used will usually depend on how bad the breaks are. Minor breaks are commonly dealt with using a technique called bonding wherein a putty-like substance is molded around the broken area. More severe breaks generally rely on capping the tooth with either metal or some kind of plastic. The very worst breaks may require tooth extraction.

Bonding involves removing a very small section of the tooth around the break so it can have an adhesive permanently attached to it. Once that's done, the dentist will attach the putty to the area where the adhesive is. Then, he will typically cook it with a laser so it hardens. This procedure is considered relatively minor compared to many dental procedures, and it usually only takes one simple office visit.

If the broken teeth are too severely damaged for bonding, the dentist will probably try capping them. In a typical scenario, this involves removing the entire outer area that is broken and shaping the tooth so a cap can be attached. This technique requires the dentist to remove more of the tooth, so there is a greater chance of pain, and he will typically use more medicine to numb the mouth. In many cases, it takes two office visits to complete the capping procedure, and during the interim, the patient will wear a temporary cap.


Sometimes the tooth will be so decayed or otherwise damaged that there is no easy solution. In those situations, dentists will sometimes need to do a root canal so the patient's teeth don't hurt all the time. At other times, extraction may be required.

According to experts, broken teeth cause very little pain in the vast majority of situations. When there is significant pain, it is usually the result of nerves that have been exposed during the break. There is also the possibility that a broken tooth can lead to tooth decay, which can potentially cause severe pain. Experts often recommend that people deal with broken teeth before tooth decay can begin.

The surface area of a tooth has a protective layer that serves as an armor against bacteria and acids. When someone breaks a tooth, the exposed part doesn't have this kind of protective surface, and it's vulnerable to everything. If bacteria establish themselves in a broken tooth, they will gradually consume the entire inside of the tooth and often begin infecting the tissue in the gum.



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