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Chipped Tooth? An Emergency Dentist Explains What You Should Do

September 6, 2019

a female patient holding her cheek in a pain at the dentist office

It’s a beautiful Fall day, and you decide you want to take a leisurely bike ride through the neighborhood. You find yourself getting lost in the changing color of the trees when suddenly, you hit a pothole and go stumbling off your bike, hitting the pavement. The moment you connect with the concrete, you feel a crack and realize you’ve just chipped your tooth. This type of dental emergency can leave you one of two ways: panicking or thinking, “Oh great, what do I do now?” No matter how you react, find out from an emergency dentist who can explain what you should do in this situation and how a professional can effectively treat the problem.

What Should I Do About a Chipped Tooth?

There are a few things you should take to handle a chipped tooth, but before you start frantically searching for your keys and racing down the street to your dentist office, take a deep breath and follow these steps:

  1. Call your dentist office to alert them of the situation. Explain what happened and where the chipped tooth is located. This will give them a better idea as to the problem when you arrive for your appointment.
  2. Using sugarless gum or dental wax, cover any jagged edges of the damaged tooth. This will protect the soft tissues of your mouth from being harmed.
  3. Avoid drinking or eating anything hot or cold.
  4. Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  5. Use a cold compress to reduce any possible swelling.
  6. Embrace soft foods for a few days, as you will need to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth with the chipped tooth.

What Types of Treatment Are Available?

Depending on the severity of the chip, there are several ways in which it can be treated. While a minor chip can be easily smoothed out, a deeper fracture will need to be restored to prevent further damage. Some of the ways your dental professional can fix a chipped tooth include:

  • Bonding – Using a tooth-colored composite resin, your dentist will shape and sculpt the material onto the enamel to recreate the shape of your natural tooth.
  • Filling – For a tooth that has a minor chip, a filling can suffice in fixing the problem, especially if it is on one of our teeth that lives toward the back of your mouth. If the chip occurs on the visible portion of your smile, it’s likely you’ll need bonding.
  • Veneers – If one or more teeth are cracked or chipped, veneers can be placed to completely cover the problem area. These ultra-thin shell coverings act as masks to hide smile imperfections.
  • Root Canal – If the chip extends deep down into the tooth, you will most likely be preparing for a root canal. Your dentist or endodontist will clean out the damaged area and seal it to prevent an infection from occurring. A root canal is the only way to save your tooth from extraction.
  • Dental Crown – A tooth that is severely broken might require a dental crown, especially if a filling would not be enough to fix the problem. A dental crown placement will require you to schedule two appointments.

You never know when an accident can happen, but it’s important to remember how to handle it should you chip or break a tooth. Don’t be afraid to call your dentist office for help, as they will not only schedule you for an appointment, but they will take you step-by-step through the process of caring for your dental emergency at home until they can get you in for treatment.

About the Practice
At Associates in Dental Health, our team of dental professionals work together to offer a wide array of comprehensive services to you and your family. Apart from the regular preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services provided, we understand accidents happen, and when they do, you need prompt service and care. This is why we offer emergency dentistry. With same-day appointments available, we will use the most advanced technology to fix your problem and have you back on your way in no time. To learn more, contact us at (978) 372-6800.

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