Chipped, broken or cracked tooth - NHS

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Chipped, broken or cracked tooth

Chipping, breaking or cracking a tooth usually isn't serious. Your dentist will usually be able to treat it.

Non-urgent advice: See a dentist if you or your child has:

  • chipped, cracked or broken a tooth

If a piece of tooth has broken off, put it in milk or saliva (by spitting into a container if it's your tooth, or having your child spit into a container if it's theirs) and take it to the dentist.

Don't go to your GP. They won't be able to give you dental treatment.


How to see a dentist in an emergency or out of hours:

  • call your dentist – if they're closed, their answerphone may say what to do

If you don't have a dentist or can't get an emergency appointment:

You may have to pay for your appointment. Read more about NHS dental charges.

What the dentist will do

Treatments for a chipped, broken or cracked tooth include:

  • gluing the fragment of tooth back on
  • a filling or a crown (a cap that completely covers the broken tooth)
  • root canal treatment for a badly broken tooth where the nerves are exposed

Read more about dental treatments.

Page last reviewed: 9 April 2018
Next review due: 9 April 2021