Chipped or Broken Tooth? What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Chipped or Broken Tooth? What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Feb 01, 2024

Accidents ensue, and a chipped or broken tooth can be a dental emergency. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the steps to take in such a situation, offering empathetic advice for your oral health. At Open Wide Dental in Phoenix, AZ, we’re here to help you during dental emergencies.

A Sudden Dental Emergency

Imagine you’re enjoying a meal or participating in your favorite sport when suddenly, a chipped or broken tooth disrupts your day. It can be unsettling and painful, but knowing how to respond can make a significant discrepancy in the outcome.

Step 1: Stay Calm

The first and most crucial step is to stay calm. While it’s natural to feel anxious or distressed, keeping a clear head will enable you to handle the situation effectively. Take a deep breath and remember that dental emergencies can be managed with the right steps.

Step 2: Rinse Your Mouth

Gently irrigate your mouth with warm water to remove any debris or blood. Be careful not to use hot or cold water, as extreme temperatures may worsen sensitivity.

Step 3: Save any Tooth Fragments

In the event of a tooth fracturing into segments, attempt to locate and preserve any pieces you can. A proficient dentist, such as those at Open Wide Dental, might have the capability to reattach them.

Step 4: Apply a Cold Compress

To alleviate pain and diminish swelling, place a cold compress or an ice pack encased in a cloth on the impacted area for 15-20 minutes. Ensure that you do not place ice directly against the skin.

Step 5: Control Bleeding

If you’re experiencing bleeding from the broken tooth or surrounding gums, use a clean piece of gauze or a watery tea bag to apply gentle pressure. This should help stop the bleeding.

Step 6: Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

If you’re in pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers following the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid positioning aspirin directly on the tooth or gum, as it can lead to irritation.

Step 7: Contact Your Dentist

Now, it’s time to reach out to your emergency dentist in Phoenix. If you’re a patient of Open Wide Dental, call our dental office immediately. Explain the problem and schedule an emergency appointment. Dental professionals are equipped to provide the necessary care and guidance in a dental emergency.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

While knowing what to do is essential, it’s equally necessary to be aware of common mistakes to avoid during a dental emergency:

– Delaying Treatment: Don’t wait to seek dental care. Even if the pain subsides or the tooth seems stable, underlying issues may exist that need attention.

– Using Super Glue: It can be tempting to try to fix a chipped or broken tooth with household adhesives like super glue. This is not recommended, as it can cause harm and complicate future dental treatment.

– Ignoring Pain: Pain is your body’s way of signaling a problem. Ignoring it may cause the issue to worsen. Always consult a dentist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Although it’s impossible to prevent accidents entirely, you can significantly lower your chances of encountering dental emergencies by:

  1. Using a Mouthguard: Should you have a habit of grinding your teeth during sleep or participate in contact sports, wearing a mouthguard is advisable.
  2. Keeping Up with Dental Visits: Regular dental examinations can spot early signs of issues, helping to avert urgent dental situations.
  3. Upholding Dental Hygiene: Consistently brush and floss to minimize the development of cavities and gum disease, both of which can lead to weakened teeth.
  4. Steering Clear of Hard Foods and Objects: Be mindful when consuming tough foods such as candies or ice, and refrain from utilizing your teeth to open items, as it may result in chipping or cracking.


Facing a chipped or broken tooth might be alarming, yet taking appropriate measures can alleviate discomfort and curb additional harm. It’s important to remain composed, adhere to the given guidelines, and swiftly reach out to a reputable dentist in Phoenix, like Open Wide Dental, for prompt help. Their commitment is to provide you with compassionate and effective treatment, ensuring your dental well-being is swiftly reinstated in any urgent situation.

We welcome patients from all surrounding locations to visit our dental office in Phoenix, AZ

  • Biltmore Area
  • Glendale

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