Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Broken Tooth

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Broken Tooth

It’s easy to assume that you can put off a trip to the dentist if you don’t have bleeding or intense pain. However, ignoring a cracked or broken tooth can seriously jeopardize your oral health.

Robert Scott Nance, DDS, MS, PA, in North Carolina, has advanced training in restoring and replacing teeth. They share these insights into why you should never ignore a broken tooth.

The dangers of a broken tooth

There is a reason why teeth are strong. They have a protective coating known as enamel, and it’s actually the strongest substance in your body. However, even with this protective layer, your teeth can still sustain damage like cracks and breaks.

While these issues may not seem significant, especially if you’re not in pain, damage to the hard enamel exposes the delicate dentin and pulp inside your tooth. This leaves them vulnerable to air, temperature, and bacteria, which can cause infection, decay, and tooth loss.

Plus, taking quick action when you crack or break a tooth can actually save your tooth — even when it gets completely knocked out of place.

Fixing a broken tooth

Dr. Nance has advanced training in complex and advanced dental cases involving replacing or restoring teeth. Based on this expertise, we could recommend a variety of treatments based on the location and severity of the damage.


Veneers can address numerous dental issues, including chips, cracks, or breaks. This process involves an ultrathin tooth-like covering that conceals and protects the front of a tooth.

Dental bonding

We apply a special putty to the tooth damage during this treatment and mold it to fit the compromised area. After drying and hardening it with ultraviolet light, we polish the bonding material to match your remaining tooth.

Tooth-colored fillings

A deep crack, chip, or break could require a filling. And, if it extends into the pulp or involves infection, it could also need a root canal. When you have a root canal, we remove the infected or irritated pulp, clean the inside of your tooth, and fill it with a dental material called gutta-percha.

Tooth-colored crowns

If you have extensive tooth damage, we could suggest a crown. This one treatment covers your remaining tooth to restore strength and function to the area.


Sometimes, we can’t save a cracked or broken tooth. In these cases, Dr. Nance can recommend completely removing the remaining tooth and replacing it with a dental implant or bridge.

No matter what restoration you need, we also offer sedation dentistry to ensure you remain comfortable and anxiety-free.

What to do if you break a tooth

If you crack or break a tooth, take action as soon as possible to reduce your risk of further damage or infection. 

First, rinse your mouth with warm water. You should also apply gentle pressure or a cold compress to the area to slow bleeding or swelling. If part of your tooth broke off, carefully rinse it with water. Then wrap it in wet gauze so you can bring it to your appointment.

After taking these steps, call our office immediately so we can provide personalized instructions based on your unique situation.

If you have a dental emergency, contact one of our North Carolina offices immediately at or simply walk-in during normal business hours.

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