Broken Teeth

Broken Teeth Solutions

If you have broken teeth or a chipped tooth come see us. Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack, or break. This can happen from a number of reasons including: biting down on something hard, being hit in the face or mouth, falling, having cavities, and having older fillings that don’t support the remaining tooth structure.

When your tooth chips or breaks, it may not even hurt. Minor tooth fractures usually don’t cause pain, but when larger pieces of tooth break off, it can hurt. If it hurts, this could be a sign that the nerve inside the tooth may be damaged. When the nerve endings in the dentin are exposed to air, you’ll likely feel extreme discomfort.

Schedule Appointment Our Location

7 Common Types of Broken Teeth

Minor Cracks
Also called “craze lined,” are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, or the enamel. Typically, minor cracks do not need treatment. However, Dr. Hemphill can lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots.
Cracked Teeth
This type of fracture involves the entire tooth. The tooth pieces remain in place, but the crack will gradually spread. These cracks can sometimes be repaired with filling material. The tooth often times will need a crown to prevent the crack from spreading and causing more instability. If the pulp (nerve and other live tissues) is damaged, a root canal may be necessary.
Minor chips don’t always need dental treatment. Dr. Hemphill may suggest repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting worse or to improve the look and feel of the tooth. If the chip is very small, Dr. Hemphill may only polish and smooth out the chipped area.
Broken Cusp
These breaks affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps) of your teeth. They usually do not affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause pain. Dr. Hemphill may repair the damage to restore the tooth’s shape. If the damage is significant an onlay or crown will be required.
Serious Breaks
A serious break is one that goes deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always will cause the tooth to hurt. Typically, the broken part of the tooth bleeds. In these cases, the tooth may need to be extracted and Dr. Hemphill will have a discussion with you as to all possible dental solutions to restore the missing tooth.
Split Tooth
In this case, the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Teeth, like your back molars, have more than one root. It’s sometimes possible to keep the tooth but in most cases its best to remove the split tooth.
Decay-induced Break
In this case, the tooth has broken or crumbled because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. Dr. Hemphill will evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. If the decay is extensive and goes down to the bone, the tooth may have to be removed – although this is rare.


6 Ways to Avoid Broken Teeth

Although broken teeth happen, there are precautions you can take to help avoid the pain and inconvenience of broken teeth. 

Use a Sports Mouth Guard
One of the most common causes of broken teeth results from sports trauma. A custom mouth guard will significantly reduce the chances of broken teeth while playing sports.
Chewing on Ice
Don’t do it. Ice is hard enough to chip or crack your teeth. If you have a habit of chewing on ice you could unknowingly be stressing and damaging your enamel.
Chewing on Hard Candy
Any form of hard candy is typically hard enough to crack or chip your teeth. If you must have your candy fix do not bite into it. It lasts longer that way too.
Tongue or Lip Piercings
Accidentally biting the metal in your tongue or lip can easily crack or damage a tooth. If you have a tongue or lip piercing you should take it out while eating and even sleeping.
Opening Things with your Teeth
Use scissors or an appropriate tool when opening anything. Bottles should be opened with bottle openers and bags with scissors. Spare your teeth!
Chewing on Pencils or Pens
If chewing on your pen or pencil relaxes you consider sugar free gum instead. Pens and pencil are hard and can easily chip or fracture a tooth.

What Our Patients Say

  • patient-review
    West Hill Family Dental has been serving my entire family for 10 years. They have always been great and treat us like family. I will continue to use them because of the high level of care and comfortable atmosphere.
    Jim Barilla
  • patient-review
    Today was my first visit with West Hill Family dental. The staff was awesome! So warm and welcoming! I felt at home the moment I walked in the door. Melissa (hygienist) was awesome and very sweet. Dr. Hemphill was very personable. I am a nervous Nelly with the dentist but they really helped me feel comfortable.
    Nicole Sousa Ribeiro
  • Jorge Gallo
    "Going to the Dentist," isn't something most folks look forward to. Fortunately, the Team at West Hill Family Dental makes that experience an enjoyable event with a friendly, thoughtful and genuinely concerned approach to both routine care and one-off emergencies. The atmosphere is relaxed and positive; everything from scheduling to changes is accommodated with little fuss and a genuine enthusiasm to see you at the next opportunity. And the overall quality of care, execution and attention to customer needs are unmatched by most practices, and certainly by the cookie-cutter pop-ups that abound elsewhere. Highly recommended, family-oriented and very professional in every aspect of care and delivery - they're definitely on the list of recommendations to new residents and neighbors!
    Jorge Gallo
  • patient-review
    In the past I have had bad experiences with dentist and I have switch many times and I think I have finally found my forever home. Kim and Monica at the front desk are amazing they make sure that if you have any concerns, they will accommodate you in any way they can. They also socialize with you which makes visiting the dentist feel like visiting family. This is by far the best dentist I've ever been to and would recommend them to anyone.
    Ivy M.
  • patient-review
    Dr.Robert Hemphill and his staff are so friendly.I was very nervous to get my treatment done,doctor made me understand and kept me calm.I always walk out happy, feeling I have seen the BEST doctor who took care of my dental treatment.Kinga the dental assistant is so kind and helpful,Kim such a lovely person always smiling and happy,Monica is superb too, she calls and double confirms the appointment so that I don’t forget. Thank you once again.
    Savy Sri

Contact Us

Questions? Let us know below. If you're looking to schedule an appointment click here.