5 Dental Procedures to Repair Your Cracked or Broken Tooth

By Dr. Brett Silverman | Apr 12, 2022 | Children’s Dentistry, Dental Bonding, Dental Crowns, Dental Implants, Porcelain Dental Veneers
5 Dental Procedures to Repair Your Cracked or Broken Tooth

(updated March 2024)

Maybe you fell into concrete. Or you were chewing ice or hard candy. When you first realize you have a cracked or broken tooth, it can be a scary time. But don’t worry. Your tooth and your smile can be repaired.

At Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we see a lot of patients with broken or chipped teeth. And our trained and experienced dentist, along with our friendly staff, knows how to handle this type of situation.

We are able to use restorative and cosmetic procedures to repair damaged teeth. The right treatment for you will depend on how badly your tooth is damaged. But, you do have options, and advancements today mean you don’t have to live with unattractive teeth.

How people end up with a cracked or broken tooth

The enamel that covers your teeth is the strongest tissue in your body, but it can still be broken or cracked.

Teeth can be damaged in many ways. Maybe you were doing something you probably shouldn’t have, like playing football without a mouth guard or chewing on a pencil. Or maybe you suffered a traumatic fall, crash, or blow.

According to the American Dental Association, the top nine foods that damage your teeth are hard candies, ice, citrus, coffee, dried fruit, potato chips, soda, alcohol, and sports drinks.

Tooth decay or cavities can also weaken your teeth, causing them to be more likely to break when you are chewing hard food.

Types of cracked teeth

Several types of cracked teeth exist.

  • Craze lines. These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel. Craze lines are common for adults. They are shallow, cause no pain, and are of no concern beyond the way they look.

  • Fractured cusp. When a piece of a tooth’s chewing surface breaks off, it’s called a fractured cusp. It usually doesn’t cause much pain.

  • Cracked tooth. A cracked tooth means a crack extends from the chewing surface vertically toward the root. Early diagnosis is important in this case to save the tooth. A cracked tooth left untreated will get worse as time goes by and can result in a loss of the tooth. Early treatment is essential in saving cracked teeth.

  • Split tooth. A split tooth is usually the result of a long-term cracked tooth. It is identified by a crack with distinct segments that can be separated. A split tooth cannot be saved intact.

  • Vertical root fracture. These cracks begin in the root of the tooth and extend toward the chewing surface. Often, they show minimal signs and symptoms. Many times, they are discovered when the surrounding bone and gum become infected.

Here are five procedures that can repair your cracked or broken tooth

Our dentist will determine which of the following treatments is best for you and your mouth.



Dental Bonding

1) Dental Bonding

Composite bonding is a way to repair chipped, cracked, decayed, discolored, misshapen, and gapped teeth. Composite bonding can last up to 10 years. During the procedure, anesthesia won’t be required unless bonding is being used for cavities.

Our dentist will roughen your tooth and put on a conditioning liquid. Putty will be applied, molded, and smoothed. Then, an ultraviolet light is used to harden the composite. When the tooth bonding has dried, it will be shaped and polished to match the rest of the tooth.



2) Veneers

Veneers are covers for a tooth. At our dentist office, we use porcelain veneers because they provide the most attractive and realistic results possible.

The veneer is bonded to the front of the tooth, transforming the tooth’s appearance. With good care, veneers can last up to 30 years, so you won’t have to worry about getting it replaced regularly.

You can have veneers placed on one tooth or a few. And it’s up to you how you want your veneer to look. This cosmetic treatment is truly a wonderful option for many people. But, if you grind your teeth, veneers may not be recommended for you because you will wear them down.

How veneers are placed on your tooth

  • First, the teeth need to be prepared for veneers. This means a dentist will need to gently remove some of the tooth structure so that the tooth doesn’t look bulky.

  • Impressions will need to be taken. At this time, you will have the chance to make decisions about the size, shape, and shade of your veneer.

  • The veneers will need to be created in a lab, so you will wear temporary veneers for a while.

  • At a later appointment, the temporary veneers will be removed, and the new veneers will be bonded to the front of the tooth.





3) Crowns

If your tooth is chipped badly or you have pain when chewing or drinking, you may need a crown. Crowns are one of the most common restorative treatments.

A dental crown is a cap that covers the tooth and protects in and approves the appearance. It acts as a strong covering for your tooth. When you get a crown, this prevents you from losing your tooth. Without a crown, a damaged tooth won’t be able to withstand the pressure of chewing.

At our dentist office, we use crowns created from tooth-colored porcelain to create a natural, uniform look. Our crowns are created for each patient and made to match your tooth perfectly.

We will create a beautiful porcelain crown in a single visit using the CEREC system. This means fewer appointments and much faster results when you choose same-day CEREC dental crowns.

Here’s how crowns are placed on your tooth:

  • First, you will be given anesthesia to make the procedure more comfortable. You can also use sedation to relax even more if you want. Our dentist office offers safe, relaxing sedation dentistry.

  • Then, they tooth must be prepared. Some tooth structures will likely need to be removed to make room for the crown.

  • After the tooth is prepared, our dentist will take impressions. We will create a beautiful porcelain crown in a single visit using the CEREC system. This means fewer appointments and much faster results when you choose same-day CEREC porcelain crowns.

  • When the permanent one is ready, it will be cemented to the remaining tooth structure.




Root Canal

4) Root Canal

If you have a crack in your tooth that has extended into the pulp, the tooth can be treated with a root canal. Some time after the root canal, a crown can be placed to protect the crack from spreading. Until then, you will be given a temporary crown to wear.

Getting a root canal involves clearing out the decayed tooth matter and removing the nerve. This procedure has a bad reputation for being painful. But if it’s done right, you should feel no pain or only minor discomfort.

If you have a toothache, sensitivity, or swelling, you may need a root canal. Left untreated, infection can spread, causing abscess, bone loss, and other serious problems.

Here’s how root canal therapy works:

  • Our office will take x-rays to determine if your tooth is infected.

  • Next, you will receive and anesthetic to minimize discomfort. Some patients also want sedation so they remain relaxed during the procedure, and we’re happy to provide safe sedation at out office.

  • We will then drill into the tooth and remove the tooth’s pulp and the nerve.

  • Then the tooth is sealed to prevent further infection.

  • If a tooth’s strength has been compromised, a crown will be placed on top.

The entire therapy will most likely take more than one dental appointment.



Dental Implant

5) Dental Implant

If you have a crack in your tooth that extends below the gum line, your tooth is no longer treatable, and the tooth won’t be able to be saved. You will need a tooth extraction, which means your tooth will need to be pulled. And then, you can get a dental implant to replace your natural tooth.

Dental implants take the place of your missing teeth. They act as your tooth’s new root and are placed securely in your jawbone for a lasting fit.

Here’s how a dental implant procedure works:

  • Biocompatible titanium screws are surgically placed into the jawbone and act as the new root of your tooth.

  • Some time will need to pass so the bone fuses with the titanium screws, allowing for a tight, lasting foundation.

  • After about 12 to 16 weeks, we will take an impression of your teeth to make sure your treatment is running as it should. During this treatment, our dentist, Dr. Silverman, will customize the abutment and create the dental crown, which will be placed on top of the implant.

  • During another appointment, Dr. Silverman will place your permanent crown and ensure a comfortable, secure fit.

If you don’t have enough bone to place dental implants, Dr. Silverman can perform a bone graft procedure.

What to do when you break, crack or chip a tooth

Initially, it might be difficult to determine the extent of damage to your tooth. However, the American Dental Association advises immediate action regardless of the severity of the issue: “immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.”

  • It’s crucial to identify any fragments of the tooth that may have detached. Wrap them in a wet paper towel or gauze and bring them to your dentist for assessment of the most suitable treatment.
  • If discomfort arises, taking a recommended dose of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like Tylenol or Ibuprofen can aid in pain management and reduce swelling.
  • In the case of a visibly significant crack or break, you may be facing a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. Exposure of the tooth to air reaching the gum line can lead to severe pain and increase the risk of bacterial infection. Contact your dentist promptly, explain the situation, and they will ensure you receive the necessary care to prevent further damage.
  • Bleeding may occur following a significant break. If this happens, apply pressure to the affected area to reduce and stop the bleeding. Maintain steady pressure and avoid wiping the area, as this could aggravate the injury and cause additional discomfort.

Call our dental office in Alpharetta to schedule an appointment.

5 Dental Procedures to Repair Your Cracked - Infographic

Why you should get your cracked or broken tooth examined immediately

If you have a cracked or broken tooth, you need to see a dentist right away.

Why? So you can avoid further damage and possible infection. And maybe even save your tooth.

If you have a cracked or broken tooth, come see Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Alpharetta, GA.

At our dentist office, we treat our patients they way we want to be treated. We want to impress you and go beyond your expectations.

Don’t wait! Call 678.389.9000 today and make an appointment to get your tooth repaired. We’d love to help you achieve a beautiful smile you can be proud of.