Chipping a tooth is a uniquely starling experience. If it happens while you’re eating something like hard candy or crackers, you might not realize it happened until you feel something on your tongue that doesn’t feel like food. If it happens due to injury, you first realize the pain and might not notice the chip until someone tells you or you look in a mirror. While these scenarios are considerably different, the end result is the same: you’re left in pain and wondering what to do.
After chipping a tooth, it’s important to contact a dentist as quickly as possible for emergency care. If you’re in pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever and rinse your mouth with salt water. If the chip has left the tooth with a jagged or sharp edge, then cover it up with sugarless chewing gum to prevent it from cutting your lips or gums.
Dentists decide which treatment method will best repair the tooth based on the severity of the damage. If the chip is small or if only enamel fell out, then a dentist may be able to repair it in one quick cosmetic dentistry procedure. However, if the damage is more extensive, your dentist will likely have to perform the repair through several steps over the course of multiple office visits. If the affected tooth can be seen when you open your mouth and smile, then the dentist will use a bonding and coloring agent to match the color to the teeth around it, which will prevent the repaired tooth from being easily identified. A dentist may also use a veneer for a tooth that is easily seen when you smile.
Depending on the severity of the chip, your dentist may have to repair it with a dental cap or crown. This is typically the case when the chip occurs on a tooth that already has significant decay or the chip removed a large part of the tooth.
No matter how big or small your chip may be, you should always contact an experienced dentist as quickly as possible. At Southfield Family Dental Center, our dentists are prepared to repair even the most serious damage, so if you’ve just chipped your tooth, call 248-655-7609 to have your tooth repaired today!