Tooth chips can occur while playing a sport, eating, and beyond. In all cases, it can be a scary experience, and you may not know what to do next. First, stay calm. Second, start self-treatment until you can contact your dentist and schedule an appointment.
As soon as possible, rinse your mouth with warm water. If there is any bleeding, use gauze to apply pressure for ten minutes. If the bleeding does not stop after that time, some suggesting using a tea bag to apply pressure to the area. If in pain, take an over the counter pain reliever, such as Advil, and apply ice or a cold pack to your lips/cheek over the broken tooth. When you are able, call your dentist. If he/she cannot see you the same day, get dental cement to cover the chipped tooth.
The severity of chipped teeth varies. Some chips are largely an aesthetic issue – they don’t cause you any pain and may not have significantly affected the tooth structure. Other tooth chips, however, can be much more serious, exposing the nerve, possibly bleeding, and causing a good deal of pain.
For a minor chip, most dentists will smooth down the tooth and polish it, and usually does not require any additional treatment. For chips that affect the tooth enamel, a filling, cap, or crown may be needed to protect the tooth and restore appearance and function. Severe chips, which typically mean the root has been exposed, often require a root canal as well as a cap or crown.
We’ve treated many people who have chipped teeth of varying severities. If you or a loved one has a chipped tooth, give us a call as soon as possible to schedule an appointment so we can see the tooth and develop a treatment plan.