Half my tooth broke off

If half or any part of your tooth falls out or breaks off, you and your tooth or the fragment that broke off must try go to the dentist immediately. This is because a broken tooth or a piece of tooth that has been knocked out has only a limited shelf life. The sooner the patient and tooth arrive at the dentist, the higher the chances that the original tooth can be saved.

If you experience a broken tooth after a trauma or accident, a visit to the dentist is highly advisable after because an expert must examine your for any accompanying injuries, for example a broken tooth root in the jaw or injuries to the jawbone. These types of injuries may not be readily apparent to you but can be diagnosed by a medical/dental professional.

If you experience a broken tooth without a trauma to the area, you will also need to visit the dentist, even if there is no pain, because you must get diagnosed and treated for any oral health conditions that might have caused the tooth to break in the first place.

What to expect if you lose all or part of a tooth

If you have knocked out or broken off one or more teeth, the dentist will first question you about how the accident happened and collect any pertinent medical history. This is followed by an examination: the dentist takes a close look at the entire oral cavity. If they suspect an injury that cannot be seen with the naked eye (e.g. a broken tooth root), they can use imaging methods such as X-rays to confirm or refute the suspicion.

Broken tooth: prognosis

In general, it depends on the condition of the tooth or piece of tooth whether the dentist can save the affected area. It plays a role in whether the broken tooth (or part of it) is stored correctly and in good time and reaches the dentist's hands. If the nerve of the tooth was not damaged in the accident, then there is a high probability that the broken tooth can be saved. The earlier the affected person sees the dentist, the better the chances that the treatment will be successful. If an entire tooth has been knocked out, the doctor can or must – depending on the extent of the injury – replace it artificially, for example with a bridge or an implant.

If the root of the tooth is severely damaged or the nerve of the tooth is affected, you might not be able to avoid a root canal. Complete loss of a tooth or several teeth will require an artificial replacement - bridges, dentures or implants. Another option is to close the gap left by the missing tooth with braces or other orthodontics.

After successfully treating a chipped or knocked out tooth, your dentist will recommend how to take care of your new smile. If you have had teeth repaired, it is especially important to visit your dentist again within a year to make sure everything is ok with the repair.

Is a broken tooth an emergency