Half my tooth broke off

After dental trauma, the loss of a portion or all of your tooth can cause irreversible damage if precise and quick measures are not taken. Finding the broken tooth fragment or the tooth and conditioning it in a suitable liquid environment or on a wet and clean surface, combined with a quick search for dental care, are the two main measures to be taken. Below, the sequence of care and procedures for a broken or avulsed tooth.


Basic first steps if half your tooth broke off:


* Moisten a piece of clean handkerchief or cloth with drinking water, and gently wrap this fragment or tooth in the selected tissue.

* Afterwards, carefully clean the avulsed tooth or the broken fragment, letting water run smoothly. Tap water should only be used as a last resort.

* Do not use cloths, brushes, or any other type of device to clean. Use only distilled, mineral or milk water. There are living tissues in the teeth that are very, very sensitive.

* In the case of an avulsed tooth – which has completely come out of the mouth, during cleaning or transportation, do not hold the part of the tooth that corresponds to the root (part of the tooth that is inserted into the bone).

* The ideal transport is done with the tooth immersed in mineral water or milk. If it is not possible to transport it like this, completely wrap the portion of the broken or avulsed tooth with part of the moistened tissue, making sure that all parts or portions are protected from the external environment and moistened.

* Let the dentist do the final cleaning of the displaced part of the broken tooth. Do not pour cleaning products or hydrogen peroxide on this tooth.


Another way to pack the fractured portion or the avulsed tooth is to place it in a container containing milk. A container with a lid, filled with enough milk to cover the tooth and then some, is a great way to properly take the broken part of your tooth to the dentist. Putting the tooth piece in liquid will go very far in preventing damage such as the drying of the existing cells on the dental roots, which could prevent the acceptance of the reinsertion of your tooth by your own body.


It is important if you lose part of your tooth that you do not attempt to glue the broken fragment of your tooth together with any type of glue. Any glue-type materials will form a film that cannot be removed by the dentist, preventing a precise connection between the fractured part and the remaining tooth. Only the dentist, knowing the anatomy of a tooth, knows how to correctly position the fragment next to the tooth and has the ideal material to bond this fragment.


It will not always be possible to bond the fractured dental part, especially if this part is very large. The same happens with dental restorations with resins. Your dentist can opt for bonding the broken fragment, dental restoration, bonding a porcelain block, or even a porcelain dental prosthesis. Every separate break and case is different and will require a specialized treatment. Clinical and radiographic examination by your dentist will indicate the best treatment for your situation.


Is a broken tooth an emergency