Dental accidents can happen any time, even if you take good care of your teeth.
If you've been injured in the mouth or you bit into something too hard, there's a risk that you might have a chipped or cracked tooth. Even if you can't see any damage, a small crack can weaken your tooth and make it feel more sensitive and painful.
The good news is, a cracked tooth can sometimes be fixed. This depends on how severe the damage is, how soon you can see a dentist and knowing what to do in a dental emergency.
What to do if your tooth gets cracked
It's recommended that you contact a dentist after any injury to your mouth, even if there's no visible damage to your teeth. They may be able to offer valuable advice over the phone about what to do in your situation to improve the chance of a full recovery and prevent complications such as infections. They may also schedule an appointment for you at the dental clinic to give you a professional check-up.
If your tooth is chipped or cracked, you should not try to fix the injury yourself, as this could cause further damage. If any large pieces of the tooth have broken off, you can store these in a container with milk to keep them moist (not water) and bring them with you to your appointment, as there's a chance your dentist may be able to reattach them.
How your dentist can help
Cracks in teeth weaken their structure and can make them more vulnerable to decay. If your dentist notices any cracks in your teeth, they'll discuss the most suitable treatments to fix it. These may include:
- Bonding to seal minor cracks
- A white filling to fill in a larger crack or cavity
- A dental crown to cover a damaged or weakened tooth and restore its original shape and strength
- Dental veneers to cover up small cracks or chips in teeth
Your dentist will make sure you understand what these treatments involve, what the chances of success are and any associated risks, so you can make a decision you're happy with.
How to prevent dental injuries
Prevention is the best cure for dental injuries. While you can't always avoid accidents, you can take steps to lower the risk of your teeth getting chipped or cracked when you follow your dentist's advice. They can also discuss preventive treatments to help protect your teeth.
Wearing a sports mouthguard is recommended if you or your children play contact sports or other activities that put your teeth at risk of injury. These can be custom-made by your dentist to be the right fit for your mouth.
You should also avoid grinding or clenching your teeth, eating very hard or crunchy foods such as nuts or seeds and biting objects such as fingernails or ice cubes. All of these can damage your teeth.
Talk to a dentist in Sydney CBD
If you need to see an emergency dentist in Sydney, or it's time for your regular check-up, contact our friendly team at Sydney CBD Dental on George Street.
 Australian Dental Association. Dental Trauma and First Aid [Online] 2017 [Accessed October 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Younger-Adults-18-30/Sports-and-First-Aid
 Australian Dental Association. Dental First Aid: How to handle a dental emergency [Online] 2016 [Accessed October 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/getattachment/Your-Dental-Health/Resources-for-Professionals/Resources-for-Teens-12-17/dental-first-aid-how-to-handle-a-dental-emergency/Dental-first-aid,-how-to-handle-a-dental-emergency.pdf.aspx
 Australian Dental Association. Whitening, Crowns and Veneers [Online] 2017 [Accessed October 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Younger-Adults-18-30/Teeth-Whitening,-Crowns-and-Veneers
 Healthdirect. Guide to dental procedures [Online] 2017 [Accessed October 2018] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/guide-to-dental-procedures
 American Association of Endodontists. Cracked Teeth [Online] 2013 [Accessed October 2018] Available from: https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/cracked-teeth/