I Chipped a Tooth! What Should I Do Now?

Uh oh! You’ve chipped a tooth, now what do you need to do? Chipped teeth are actually pretty common, and depending on the size and type of chip, there are easy fixes. However, if the damage extends beyond the tooth’s enamel there is a risk of tooth loss or infection. So, first thing first, make a dentist appointment! It can take a couple of days to get in for an appointment, so the faster you move, the better your chances for a minimal fix.

Dentists can fix teeth in a couple of ways. If you have a small, superficial chip, most dentists will just smooth out the jagged edges. The more serious the chip, the more extensive the repair process. So, if you chipped a molar, most dentists will use a filling to repair the tooth, but if you have done some serious damage, your tooth may require a crown or cap to prevent further harm. Additionally, if there is extensive damage to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be required to clean out the inside of the tooth and seal the area. So, before your dentist appointment, what steps do you need to take to care for your tooth?

Well, if you are bleeding, the first step is to stop the bleeding. You can do so by applying pressure with clean gauze and continue until the bleeding stops. To help relieve pain, you can rinse your mouth with warm, salt water. This solution will also help in preventing infection and reduce swelling. Make sure you continue to rinse your mouth regularly to keep the tooth clean of particles and bacteria. If pain and swelling persist, you can take over-the-counter pain medication and place ice on the area. If extensive damage has been done, make sure to consume mainly liquids and soft foods. When storing the chipped tooth, make sure to keep it in a plastic bag and keep it slightly moist. Place a few drops of water in the bag, or wrap the tooth in some damp gauze and place it in a plastic bag.

By following these few steps, you should be on your way back to perfect pearly whites in no time!

About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)

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