Is a Cracked Tooth a Dental Emergency?

misc image

Is a Cracked Tooth a Dental Emergency?

Tooth injuries range in severity, and some need emergency dental care as soon as possible. Here, we provide the information you need to make a decision regarding your cracked tooth.

Chips and cracks in your teeth are common. Although they can withstand the normal forces of your bite, a blow to the face or an accidental chomp on a solid object can challenge their integrity. 

If the breakage to your tooth is significant or if the crack runs deep, you’ll need to book an emergency dentistry visit with Leon Brannon Reed, DDS, at 1st American Dental in Tempe, Arizona. Seeing our team as soon as possible following a tooth injury ensures the best possible outcome with treatment. You’ll avoid complications of an untreated broken tooth while restoring the function of your mouth. 

This article helps you determine whether you need emergency dental care for your cracked tooth.

How deep is the crack?

If your tooth sustains a minor fracture or a small chip that doesn’t go beyond the enamel, dental care can wait. While you’ll want to address the issue with our team eventually, booking an appointment in a few days or weeks won’t cause any issues. 

However, when a crack in your tooth is deep enough to reach the pulp, it’s an emergency. You’ll know your tooth fracture needs emergency treatment if:

  • There is intense pain 
  • You’re bleeding a lot 
  • A substantial portion of the tooth is missing
  • You have extreme tooth sensitivity

You can also get a feel for the severity of a tooth fracture by observing it, but these symptoms are good indicators of the need for immediate dental care. 

Managing a cracked tooth in the moment

As soon as a severe tooth injury happens, jump into action with immediate aftercare. By managing a broken tooth immediately, you avoid increased damage and pain. Dr. Reed suggests rinsing your mouth with warm water to clean the area around the broken tooth, minimizing the bacteria that can seep into the crack. 

When a tooth cracks, swelling usually results. To manage facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the side of your face. Avoid placing ice directly on your skin. Instead, wrap it in a towel. 

You should also get in touch with our office so we can fit you in for a same-day emergency visit. 

Avoiding future breakage

Even if your tooth isn’t damaged enough to warrant an emergency visit, a mouth injury can be a wake-up call for oral health and safety. Protect your teeth from future breakage by using a mouthguard in sports, avoiding biting down on solid objects, like fruit pits and hard candies, and never using your teeth as tools. 

Get in touch with us for your emergency needs

Our office has the resources and expertise to treat your cracked tooth immediately. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online at 1st American Dental for emergency dentistry today.

1st American Dental
✆ Phone (appointments): 480-687-2266
✆ Phone (general inquiries): 480-687-2266
Address: 55 E Broadway Road, Tempe, AZ 85282