What to Do When You Chip a Tooth

When you chip a tooth, the most important thing is to see a dentist right away. It’s not always easy to tell whether you’ve done serious damage to your tooth or not, so don’t put off a dental visit thinking it’s just a minor problem.

Before You Can Get to the Dentist

You may not feel the chip or crack, but it’s likely that your tongue or cheeks will immediately feel the sharp place on your tooth that comes from a break.

The first thing to do is get any broken pieces of enamel out of your mouth so you don’t swallow them. Then rinse your mouth with warm water. If you have bleeding, put pressure on the cut areas to stop the bleeding.

You can apply a cold pack to the area to reduce sensitivity and swelling. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

To keep yourself from getting cut by the sharp edges, you can put paraffin wax or sugar free gum on the chip. If it is going to take you a while to get to the dentist, you can put temporary dental cement on the chip to protect the tooth. This is temporary, and only a short-term expedient—it doesn’t mean you can wait to see the dentist!

How We Will Fix Your Tooth

The proper treatment for your chipped tooth depends on the chip, its cause, and your goals.

For minor chips: The quickest and easiest fix for a minor chip is dental bonding. The same material used for white fillings is sculpted onto your tooth to create a lifelike restoration, then it is hardened with a curing light. This can be completed in a single visit. For a longer-term restoration, porcelain veneers are recommended.

For major chips (cracked or broken tooth): If the chip, crack, or break has compromised the strength of the tooth or exposed the tooth’s nerve, you may need a dental crown to protect and support the tooth. If the crack was caused by severe decay in the tooth, we may also recommend root canal therapy to remove an infected tooth root.

If you have chipped or cracked a tooth, do not wait to get help. Please call (303) 975-6987 to schedule an appointment at Ascent Dental in Cherry Creek. For less urgent questions or appointments, you can email us.

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