You’re trying to cool down one day, because it’s September and you’re just about sick of the hot weather. So, you chow down on some ice, when suddenly you hear a loud crunch. A jolt of pain shoots through your mouth. You rush to the mirror to find that you’ve chipped a tooth! What should you do? How can your emergency dentist help? Continue reading to find out.
How to Handle a Chipped Tooth
First and foremost, call your dentist and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Tell them you’ve fractured a tooth, and they should do everything in their power to see you on that same day. If your tooth is in pain, ask the dental team which over-the-counter pain medication would be best for your situation.
In the meantime, use a piece of dental wax or sugar-free gum to cover any sharp or jagged edges of the remaining tooth. That way no soft tissues in your mouth get injured. To prevent further breakage, avoid chewing with the broken tooth. Rinse with warm water to clear away any tiny pieces that may have broken off. If your chipped tooth was the result of an injury, apply a cold compress to the appropriate cheek to cut down on swelling and pain.
How Your Dentist Can Treat a Chipped Tooth
There are a few treatment options that your dentist might recommend, depending on your case. Some of those treatments include:
- Bonding or filling: Your dentist can apply tooth-colored filling material to the tooth to heal the tooth and sculpt it back into the correct shape.
- Veneers: These thin shells of dental porcelain are bonded to the front surface of your teeth. They can not only mask any chips, but they restore your biting power and smiling confidence.
- Crown: A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that slips over a tooth to restore its structure and function. Essentially, it’s like a veneer but for the whole tooth, not just the front.
- Root canal: If your fracture was severe enough to expose your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, a root canal might be needed. Your dentist will remove the nerve to prevent it from getting infected. Afterwards, he or she will probably recommend placing a crown over the tooth to protect it.
How to Keep from Chipping Teeth
If you’re an athlete, the Academy of General Dentistry suggests you wear a mouthguard every time you play sports to prevent injury. You can also keep your teeth from chipping by not chewing on ice or hard foods like popcorn kernels or hard candy. In addition, don’t use your teeth as tools to open packing or hold things.
Chipping a tooth isn’t the end of the world, especially if you call your emergency dentist first thing. They can help determine what the next course of action should be. Remember to be proactive and protect your teeth as much as you can.
About the Practice
Drs. Thomas, Weisenburger, and Poole of Dental Group West put the safety and comfort of their Toledo, OH patients first. They offer sedation dentistry options to make your recovery from a dental emergency pain- and worry-free. If you chipped a tooth, don’t hesitate to contact Dental Group West at (419) 539-2168.