A chipped tooth can come when you least expect it. You could be playing sports with your friends, chewing on the ice from your favorite beverage or even munching on your favorite snack. Suddenly, you hear it and feel it — you’ve chipped your tooth.
Your next order of business is to find out what you should do. Fixing a chipped tooth is a time-sensitive issue, so you should be sure to get the help you need right away. Use the following advice to know what to do when you chip a tooth and how to navigate this situation.
How to Handle a Chipped Tooth
A chipped tooth can affect how you live your life as you await the proper treatment. That’s especially true in the moments following the event that caused your chipped tooth. You could be nervous, in pain or in shock, depending on the severity of the injury. It’s essential to get the treatment you need as soon as possible to keep negative consequences to a minimum.
Here are some steps you can take to help you handle a chipped tooth:
- Call: Call your dentist right away to schedule an emergency appointment. Your dentist will evaluate the damage and help you get the proper treatment to fix or save the chipped tooth.
- Rinse: Rinse your mouth with warm water to help clean the tooth and remove any tooth fragments that could still be in your mouth. Accidentally biting down on a tooth fragment could lead to more tooth damage.
- Avoid: Try to avoid eating until you get help from your dentist. If you have to eat, eat only soft foods, as hard or crunchy foods can cause more pain or inflict more damage to your affected tooth.
Even a slightly chipped tooth can cause extreme pain and discomfort. As you wait for your emergency appointment with your dentist, you can take some measures to reduce the pain and help the time go by a bit more comfortably. Here are some pain relief methods you can try:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Ask your dentist which non-steroidal pain medications they would recommend for dulling the pain caused by your chipped tooth.
- Cold compress: A more severe chipped tooth can lead to swelling and inflammation. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the affected area to manage this swelling and reduce the pain caused by inflammation.
- Moderate temperatures: When you chip a tooth, you may expose underlying nerves, which can be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. Avoid hot or cold foods and beverages to avoid pain from this heightened sensitivity.
Protecting Your Mouth Until You Get Help
Your mouth is at risk of further damage after chipping a tooth. Your chipped tooth may have a fresh, sharp edge that could cut the inside of your cheek. If you cut yourself deep enough, you run the risk of swallowing excess blood or developing an infection.
You should take the following measures to protect your mouth until you can see your dentist:
- Dental wax: Cover the sharp edges of your chipped tooth with dental wax to limit cuts and lacerations in the soft tissues of your mouth. A chipped tooth can wreak havoc on your mouth’s delicate tissues, so use dental wax to avoid these extra injuries.
- Your eating behavior: As we mentioned above, you should avoid eating before seeing your dentist if you can help it and eat only soft foods if you must eat. You can also protect your mouth when eating by chewing on the opposite side from the side with the chipped tooth. This trick will decrease your chance of more damage and pain and help keep the affected tooth cleaner.
- Flossing: Gently floss around your chipped tooth to relieve pressure and inflammation.
5 Treatment Options for a Chipped Tooth
The good news is you have several options for treating your chipped tooth. Here are five ways your dentist can help return your smile to normal, whether you have a slightly chipped tooth or a more severe injury:
- Bonding: If chipping your tooth resulted in surface imperfections, a dental bonding procedure could be the answer for you. Bonding is a form of cosmetic dentistry, which means its primary purpose is to help your teeth look great again after experiencing slight damage, wear, gaps or discoloration. Your dentist will add layers of composite resin to the surface of your teeth to fill imperfections and help your damaged tooth look the way it did before the chip.
- Porcelain veneers:Porcelain veneers are a great option when you chip a front tooth. This form of cosmetic dentistry can help return your smile to normal after experiencing more severe chips or several chipped teeth. The process involves your dentist applying thin, tooth-colored shells to the fronts of your teeth. Once applied, they’ll look like your natural teeth by matching their color and size. They’ll hide every chip, scratch and imperfection so you can smile with confidence again.
- Root canals: More serious chips can threaten the health of your tooth and mouth, leading to more serious issues. When this situation happens, you’ll need restorative dentistry to protect your health and quality of life. One such procedure is root canal therapy. A deep chip can harm the pulp inside your teeth, leading to pulp decay and tooth death. Root canal therapy cleans out the decayed pulp from your tooth, helping it keep living and avoid extraction. Your dentist will then apply a crown to protect the affected tooth.
- Crowns:Dental crowns are a versatile form of restorative dentistry. After experiencing a chipped tooth, you can get a dental crown to cover and protect the affected area and return your smile to normal. Dental crowns often consist of porcelain, so you can know they’ll be durable and long-lasting.
- Bridges: If you experience serious tooth damage that results in a missing tooth, dental bridges can help restore your smile. Your dentist will place crowns over the teeth next to the gap and connect a prosthetic tooth between the crowns. As a result, your teeth won’t shift. Bridges can preserve your smile and help you show your teeth with confidence.
Contact Dr. Mahsa Esfandiari Dental Group, Los Gatos Today to Fix Your Chipped Tooth
If you have a chipped tooth, Dr. Mahsa Esfandiari Dental Group can help. We know it’s a time-sensitive situation, so we make sure to see you as soon as possible when you schedule an emergency dental visit. Our goal is to help your smile return to normal, and our state-of-the-art procedures can make it happen. If you’ve chipped your tooth in the Los Gatos area of California, we’re the dental group for you.
Contact us today for more information or book an appointment online. Take action now to preserve your chipped tooth and save your smile. We look forward to serving you.