Is a Broken Tooth a Dental Emergency?

Emergency dentists see broken teeth pretty frequently. A broken tooth can be the result of a sports injury, an accident, a fall, or even just eating hard foods.

People typically break their upper front teeth, simply because they are in a front-and-center position. These teeth are also responsible for your nice smile, so when you break them, it can be pretty scary and devastating.

We hope that you never break a tooth, but if you do, seeking prompt medical attention could mean the difference between saving or losing your tooth.

Dr. Tracy Chan and her compassionate team of experts here at Marina Dental Care in San Francisco work quickly in emergency dental situations to help restore your tooth.

Here’s what you should do if you’ve broken your tooth.

What do I do if my tooth breaks?

The first thing you should do if you have a broken tooth is remain calm. Keeping a clear head in a tense situation helps you make the best decisions. Your tooth may start to bleed, and it might also be painful.

Knocked-out tooth

If your entire tooth is knocked out, place it back into the socket if possible, and call us right away. Be careful to only hold the tooth by the top and not the bottom.

You don’t want to touch the tooth root when handling the tooth and placing it back inside your mouth. Your original tooth can typically be reimplanted as long as you visit our office immediately.

Chipped or broken tooth

If your tooth breaks or chips, try to pick up the broken pieces, put them into a clean container, and cover them with milk.

You may not even notice that you’ve chipped or broken a tooth if it’s in the back of your mouth. If you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity, you might have a broken tooth.

How to avoid a broken tooth

Follow these helpful guidelines to avoid breaking or chipping your teeth:

  • Wear a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth.
  • Always wear a mouthguard during sports activities.
  • Don’t open packages or bottles using your mouth.
  • Don’t chew on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, or anything else that is hard enough to break a tooth.
  • Always keep a first aid kit accessible, and make sure it includes our telephone number.
  • Keep up with your regular dental visits.

Don’t wait to get help for a broken tooth

Any broken tooth is considered a dental emergency, although some issues are more urgent than others. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Chan and her team of dental experts, call us at 415-440-9000 or use our convenient online scheduling tool.


Marina Dental Care

1763 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

Phone: (415) 440-9000

Fax: (415) 440-9081


Monday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

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