Broken Tooth or Dental Appliance: First Aid

Topic Overview

If a tooth or dental appliance breaks, take the following steps:

  • Remove loose dentures and the parts of broken dentures.
  • Find any pieces of tooth or the broken dental appliance and take them with you when you go to see your dentist. Your dentist will want to check for missing pieces of tooth or dental appliance that may have been left in a wound, swallowed, or inhaled into the lungs (aspirated).
  • If the top (crown) of a tooth has been broken, apply a small piece of cotton or gauze soaked in hydrogen peroxide to the crown to help reduce bleeding.
  • If an orthodontic wire, bracket, or jagged edge of a tooth is poking you, roll a piece of candle wax or orthodontic wax and press it onto the part. A broken wire can be pressed toward your teeth with a pencil eraser.

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 23, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
David Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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