Your teeth are protected by the hardest substance in your body. Enamel is the outer layer of a tooth that protects the underlying dentin and pulp. Although it’s stronger than some metals, a blow to the mouth or biting a popcorn kernel can break a tooth. If the unexpected should happen, don’t panic! Here are 4 things you should do for a chipped tooth.
1. Contact an Emergency Dentist
A chipped tooth is a dental emergency, even if you aren’t having pain or the damage is minor. You don’t want to delay seeing a dentist because your tooth will be vulnerable to bacteria, sensitivity, and additional breaks or fractures. Contact your dentist and explain your situation. They may schedule you for an appointment immediately or at their next availability.
2. Manage Any Discomfort
Not all chipped teeth hurt, but it’s best to avoid hot or cold foods and drinks to prevent any sensitivity. You can take an OTC pain reliever to manage any discomfort. Applying a cold compress to the outside of your mouth can numb the area temporarily.
3. Keep Your Mouth Clean
Your tooth will be exposed to bacteria, so it’s important to keep your mouth clean. Continue to brush twice a day and floss at night. You can gargle your mouth with salt water to kill bacteria while reducing pain and inflammation.
4. Eat Softer Foods
Eat softer foods until after you’ve had your tooth repaired. If possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
A chipped tooth is more than a cosmetic issue. Don’t wait to see a dentist for treatment, or you may be at risk of losing your tooth.
Options for Treating a Chipped Tooth
Your emergency dentist will examine your mouth to create a personalized plan to repair your tooth. Although every situation differs, common treatments include:
- Dental Bonding: Composite resin is shaded to match the color of your enamel to rebuild the chip.
- Veneer: A thin porcelain shell is bonded to the front surface of a tooth to hide the imperfection.
- Crown: A significant break may require an all-ceramic cap to be bonded over the tooth.
No matter the method, your results will look natural, so it will be like the chip never happened.
Contact Your Dentist Right Away
Although no one has time for an unplanned trip to the dentist or an unexpected dental bill, don’t delay treatment. If you’re concerned about the cost, you can use your dental insurance to lower the amount you’ll pay. Many dental offices also accept third-party financing. You can pay any out-of-pocket expenses using a monthly payment plan with little or no interest.
Don’t let a chipped tooth ruin your day. Contact your emergency dentist right away, so you can get back to more important matters.
About Dr. Donald Marks
Dr. Marks achieved his dental degree at the University of Pittsburgh and has regularly continued his education to provide advanced services. He has the qualifications and experience you can trust for dental emergencies. If you’ve chipped a tooth, contact our office to request an appointment.