Accidents happen. Whether you slip and fall or bite down on something hard, you can accidentally chip a tooth.
Once you realize what has happened, you may start to panic, especially if you chip one of your front teeth. What should you do? How can you get it fixed?
Below, Dr. David Green and the team at Turnagain Dental share what you should do if you chip a tooth.
If you chip a tooth, the first thing you should do is call your dentist and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Then, to care for your tooth before your appointment, here’s what you should do:
- Use dental wax or sugar-free gum to cover any sharp parts of the tooth.
- Avoid consuming extremely hot and cold foods and beverages as you may experience sensitivity.
- Eat mostly soft foods and stay away from hard items, such as apples, carrots, nuts, chips, and certain types of bread.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed by your dentist.
Treatment Options for a Chipped Tooth
If the chip is mild, your dentist may only need to smooth over the rough or sharp portions so you don’t injure your cheek or tongue.
If the damage is more severe, however, you may need one of the following treatments:
- Filling or bonding – Dentists bond composite resin, a filling material, to the chipped tooth to fill in the missing piece. Composite resin can be shaped to look like a natural tooth and it’s available in a number of color variations.
- Veneers – A veneer is a shell made of composite or porcelain that dentists attach to the front part of a patient’s tooth using cement, making it look as though no damage had been done.
- Crown – To prevent a tooth from breaking beyond repair, a crown may be necessary. A crown is a full-coverage cap made from ceramic, porcelain, or resin that dentists cement onto the chipped tooth.
- Root canal – Some tooth breaks are so severe that nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth are damaged. In these cases, a root canal is needed, which is usually accompanied by a crown to further reinforce the broken tooth.