What to Do If You Chip a Tooth

February 15, 2018

Nobody expects to chip a tooth. It’s a sudden, surprising event. Maybe you tripped and fell. Maybe you got hit in the mouth. Maybe you were just eating.

Here’s how to respond if you chip a tooth.

Chipped tooth

First, Get the Bits Out of Your Mouth

If you have pieces of your chipped tooth in your mouth, get them out right away. It’s unlikely that they’ll be adhered back to your teeth, but you don’t want to swallow the sharp fragments.

Next, Evaluate the Injury

Perform a visual inspection of the tooth. This is critical to determining whether your injury is a dental emergency or can be handled without an emergency appointment.

If the chipped area is all the same color as the surface of your tooth, the chip is probably just in the enamel. Although this is a cosmetic concern, it doesn’t require emergency attention unless you consider the cosmetic problem an emergency.

If the area of the chip is a different color, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible, especially if the chipped area is bleeding.

Evaluate the injury next to see if the tooth is unusually sensitive. Suck cool air in over your teeth and see if the chipped tooth is especially sensitive. If it is, then you should consider the chipped tooth an emergency.

Push the tooth gently with your tongue. If it moves excessively, this is another reason to consider the tooth injury an emergency.

Next, contact us and tell us about the injury. If it’s an emergency, we can usually get you in today. Otherwise, we’ll try for an expedited appointment. In the meantime, keep evaluating your injury and see if your tooth is especially sensitive or loose.

How We’ll Treat Your Chipped Tooth

The proper treatment of a chipped tooth depends on the actual extent of the injury, your treatment goals, and your restrictions. If it’s a minor chip, veneers are the most attractive and durable treatment option. However, dental bonding is an affordable and quick treatment option.

If your tooth has been more seriously damaged, we might recommend a dental crown. This can support and strengthen your damaged tooth. In some cases, we might need to perform a root canal on a damaged tooth. That’s because the interior of the tooth has been exposed to bacterial infection. We need to remove the potentially infected material and replace it with inert material that won’t get infected.

If your tooth came loose because of the impact, we’ll evaluate its odds of survival. Often, a simple splint can help the tooth heal. In some cases, though, it may not heal and may need to be replaced with a dental implant or partial denture.

Let Us Help

For more than 20 years, Advantage Dental Group has been Pueblo’s hometown dentist. We have helped many of our friends and neighbors recover from serious and not-so-serious dental emergencies. All our treatments are performed with compassion, and our office is welcoming and comfortable.

If you have hurt your tooth and need to talk to a dentist in Pueblo, please call (719) 545-1400 today for an appointment at Advantage Dental Group.

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