Emergency Dentistry - General Dentistry

Broken Filling / Broken Tooth: When Dental Challenges Become a Reality

Broken Filling / Broken Tooth: When Dental Challenges Become a Reality

Dental issues can occur at any time, disturbing our lives and ushering in discomfort and pain. One such distressing dental problem is a broken filling or broken tooth. A broken or cracked tooth happens as a result of severe tooth decay, a dental injury or simply age. The damaged tooth or filling exposes the sensitive pulp or nerve of the tooth, creating sensitivity when you eat or drink something hot or cold. Far more than an inconvenience, such issues can sometimes pose a serious threat or impact one’s oral health, adversely. Rapid action is not only recommended but crucial to prevent further damage and prevent complications such as severe infection or the need for a more intensive procedure like a root canal.

Understanding Broken Tooth and Broken Filling

Most adults have had at least one filling in their lifetime. Fillings are common solutions for cavities, but over time, they can weaken, fall out, or even break down. When this happens, the tooth once protected by the filling becomes exposed, leading to sensitivity and sometimes discomfort.

On the other hand, teeth can break due to several reasons: excessive teeth grinding, biting on hard objects, severe cavities that weaken the tooth, injuring the tooth or ageing. Remember, ignoring a broken tooth can lead to infections thereby causing more harm.

How to Tackle a Broken Tooth or Filling

Once a tooth is broken or a filling is fractured, the live nerve inside the tooth becomes less insulated and sensitive to temperatures changes and food. The priority should be to seal the tooth and protect the nerve. This can be achieved by providing a temporary or permanent filling.

If the damage inflicted on the tooth is extensive, such that a filling would mean a considerable part of the tooth will have to consist of dental material, the structural integrity of the tooth may be unduly compromised. It’s in such scenarios that you should consult with a cosmetic dentist to explore the option of fixing the damaged tooth with an indirect restoration such as a crown or onlay. An indirect restoration involves carrying out a procedure to replace the damaged tooth segment with superior materials that mimic the look, function, and strength of a natural tooth.

Importance of Swift Action

It is vital to restore the damaged tooth as soon as the damage is noticed or the first symptoms of discomfort appear. Immediate repair ensures that the damage doesn’t escalate and significantly brings down the risk of infection or tooth loss.

In situations where circumstances do not permit a permanent restoration, a temporary filling can be an ideal alternative. A temporary filling doesn’t only alleviate discomfort or sensitivity; it prepares the tooth for a permanent solution by keeping the site clean and inhibiting bacteria proliferation, as you wait to have a definitive dental restoration. It acts as a bandage, protecting the affected area until a more permanent solution is applied, thereby enhancing the long term prognosis of the tooth.


A broken tooth or filling can be a discomforting experience, but it doesn’t have to translate into a significant dental issue. The key is to act promptly and seek professional dental care. It is essential to consult your dentist, who can guide and determine a suitable treatment for your specific dental situation. Early detection and intervention are vital for curbing the implications of broken fillings or teeth. In essence, your immediate action combined with proficient dental care can pave the way for healthier teeth and a radiant smile, so don’t let a broken tooth or filling dim your smile or dampen your spirit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *