Many mouth injuries result in a chipped tooth, even something as simple as falling and hitting your mouth. While it causes some panic, most chipped teeth are not serious. If you have chipped your tooth, it is important to keep calm and follow some simple steps. As soon as we get you in the office, we can go through the process to fix it.
Immediate Steps to Take
After calling the office for an appointment, there are five simple steps we advise you to take.
- Rinse out your mouth. This helps remove any lingering tooth fragments. Use warm water to decrease sensitivity to the area, especially if pulp is exposed.
- Apply pressure to bleeding areas. Pressing gauze, toilet paper, tissues, or a cloth to the area will help the bleeding stop.
- Take pain medicine. Chipping teeth hurts, and the pain increases as the shock wears off. Take over the counter pain medicine to help manage the pain until you can get the tooth fixed.
- Cover sharp areas. If the chipped area is jagged, it can do some damage to your tongue and cheeks. Using dental wax or sugar-free gum, cover the area to help protect yourself.
- Apply cold. Mouth injuries tend to swell up quickly, so apply a cold compress or ice pack indirectly to the area. This means you put it on the outside of your mouth, near the chipped area. This will also help manage the pain.
The Dental Appointment
Once we get you into the office, there are several different tools we can use to help you get your mouth back to normal. The treatment depends on the size and location of the chip.
Chips that are small may only require smoothing out the edges. The tooth will still ache for a day or two in most cases, so pain is handled with medication you can buy without a prescription. If the chip is in one of the front teeth, a little contouring or polishing to surrounding teeth may be necessary to create more symmetry. If it’s small but too noticeable to cover, a porcelain veneer is a great product to consider.
These are usually more noticeable and require some sort of filling to complete the bite and stop the pain. Crowns or caps can also be used to restore the tooth to normal function and appearance, as well as warding off future infection. With front teeth, using veneers is another great option because it completely masks the tooth and no one ever needs to know that there was a chip. Crowns cover the entire tooth while veneers only cover the outer side.
If we can see the tooth nerve, it is most likely damaged. The best way to correct this is with a root canal and using a crown to cover the tooth. This helps restore the shape and function of the tooth better In severe cases, an implant is another great option to restore the tooth.
We Can Fix It
The most important thing to know when you chip your tooth is that we can fix it. While chipped teeth are common, it doesn’t make your treatment routine. Taking the time to explain your options and making sure you are satisfied with the result is very important to us. So, if you chip a tooth, relax and know that we have your back.