A chipped tooth is a very common dental problem and it’s only growing. Chipped teeth happen due to various reasons like accidents or injuries. If the problem isn’t addressed quickly, chipped teeth lead to other health complications like infections or gum problems.
But how do you know when a chipped tooth is an emergency? When should you wait to call your dentist? How do you repair chipped teeth?
In this article, you’ll learn more about chipped teeth, when it’s an emergency, and treatments for it.
What to Do When You Chip A Tooth
Whether it’s a small chip or a large chip, chipped teeth hurt and potentially cause more damage to your mouth. In most cases, you’ll want to contact your dentist right away. If you can, hold on to pieces of the tooth for repair.
Once you contact your dentist they may ask you how bad the chip is and decide to wait a few days before seeing you. This is completely normal, as not every chipped tooth is an emergency. Always provide the dentist with as much information as you can about how your tooth chipped, if you’re in any pain, and if you have any more symptoms.
Are My Chipped Teeth an Emergency?
If the dentist thinks your chipped tooth isn’t an emergency, don’t panic. However, sometimes chipped teeth need to be seen right away. Here are some ways for you to tell if a chipped tooth is an emergency
When teeth chip sometimes bleeding occurs. In many cases, the bleeding is minimal and stops on its own. If the tooth is severely chipped, bleeding may be substantial and hard to control.
If you find that bleeding from a chipped tooth does not subside, you’ll want to consider it a dental emergency and contact your dentist.
Chipped teeth cause some amounts of pain, but it matters on how large or small the chip is. Some chips don’t cause pain at all, while others need over-the-counter medications.
But if you’re in so much pain that you cannot talk, chew, or do any other activities, it could be a sign that there’s a deeper problem and you should see your dentist immediately.
The Tooth is Sharp or Protruding
When teeth become chipped, parts of the tooth break off leaving a sharp edge. This sharp edge has the potential to cause more damage to your mouth and you want to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Chipped teeth also may protrude or stick out and become a hazard as well. To avoid potential problems, contact your dentist.
Your Tooth is Loose
Chipped teeth sometimes become loose because of the force that caused the chip. If you have a loose and chipped tooth, there’s a good chance you may need a tooth extraction or a repair. Leaving a loose tooth in for too long causes more dental damage, so you’ll want to visit your dentist immediately.
Repairing Chipped Teeth
Chipped teeth are unsightly to your smile. Thankfully, many treatments repair breaks and restore your smile and its function. Here are some dental treatments used to repair chipped teeth.
Dental bonding requires applying a composite material over the cracked tooth. This is one of the top choices for repairing chipped teeth because it’s a fairly quick process. The dentist shapes it to mimic your previous tooth and is long-lasting when cared for well.
Your dentist applies the bonding agent to your tooth and hardens it with ultraviolet light. Once the composite hardens, your tooth should look natural. Bonding works well for small cracks and chips.
Dental veneers are thin shells of material like porcelain that bond to the cracked tooth and cover it. In many cases, it fills in gaps as well. Not only do veneers bond to the tooth, but they protect the chip and bacteria from entering the bloodstream.
Dentists use veneers to cover up the chipped tooth and restore it to its natural-looking state. They last a long time and they’re an economical solution.
When a damaged tooth doesn’t need an extraction, dentists prefer to save it. In this case, a crown is put over the tooth.
Crowns protect the chipped tooth from bacteria and other pathogens that may enter through the crack and cause health complications. Crowns may be tooth-colored so no one notices you have one.
A root canal removes the infection from the pulp of the tooth. When a tooth becomes chipped, infection is likely to happen if you wait too long to see a dentist. Without removing the infection, you subject yourself to more dental issues.
Once the infection is removed, if the tooth is salvageable, the dentist puts a crown over the chipped tooth.
Dental implants replace missing teeth. If your tooth chips and you need an extraction because the chip is severe, dental implants could restore your smile by replacing the missing tooth.
Dental implants are permanent and easy to care for. They’re fused to your jaw bone and blend in with your surrounding teeth so they’re unnoticeable.
Repair Your Chipped Tooth Today
A chipped tooth causes pain, social anxiety, and frustration. By repairing your chipped tooth, you give your tooth the best chance at restoration.
Do you need assistance with chipped or cracked teeth? Our team specializes in cosmetic dentistry and restores your smile. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.