You’re enjoying your favorite snack when — ouch! Or maybe you’re playing a vigorous game of basketball when you take a blow to the face. You know right away that you chipped a tooth. Not only are you in pain, but you felt part of the tooth leave its proper place. A broken tooth is nothing to take lightly. If you don’t handle the situation correctly, you’ll be uncomfortable and may even develop an infection. What should you do if you have a chipped tooth?
Protect the Tooth
Soon after you get injured, rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution, and use gauze to handle any bleeding. Then, it’s important that you cover the tooth. A broken tooth can expose its sensitive inner layers; you may experience extreme pain when you eat or when the tooth is exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures. To protect the area, you can use a temporary dental cement. If that isn’t available, you can use sugarless gum to cover the area.
To manage your discomfort before you have an appointment with your dentist, you can take mild over the counter painkillers. Also, try to consume only liquids and soft foods.
Receive Professional Attention
If you incurred other injuries in addition to the chipped tooth, you may need to go to the emergency room. However, if the tooth is the only problem, head to your dentist’s office. Your dental care professional will examine the tooth and recommend treatment options.
Ideally, you should visit your dentist within a day or two of when you chip your tooth. The sooner you receive treatment, the less likely it is that your mouth will suffer further damage or that you’ll contract an infection.
What Will the Dentist Do?
If you chipped a front tooth, your dentist may simply polish it to move any rough edges that could cut your tongue or lips. They might also suggest that dental bonding be used to restore the tooth’s appearance. Bonding employs a durable, tooth-colored resin to correct cosmetic flaws. A porcelain veneer to cover the damaged tooth is another means that your dentist might use to disguise the damage.
The situations is a bit more complex if you chipped a molar. In some cases, a filling will be able to protect the inner part of your tooth and restore its function. However, sometimes a crown is necessary to cover the entire exposed part of the tooth. A root canal might also be necessary if your tooth’s pulp was damaged. The treatment will clean out the damage and remove the nerve that’s causing you pain.
A chipped tooth can be both painful and unsightly, but fortunately, your dentist can correct the problem and restore your smile.
About Our Practice
Dr. Donald Marks and his team are pleased to provide dental services to folks in the State College area. Through restorative dentistry, they can treat chipped teeth and help you get back your smile and your oral health. You can contact the office at 814-234-0329.