You fell and hit your mouth on cement, and now there’s a chip missing from your tooth.
Your child bent over too quickly and chipped their tooth on the hard countertop.
During that fun pick-up football game, you took and elbow to the face during an especially stunning play, and part of your tooth was chipped.
Your son used his teeth to pry apart some Legos, and chipped his tooth in the process.
That cavity you knew wasn’t getting better, has finally taken it’s toll by weakening your tooth to the point that it chipped.
These are real-life scenarios that cause chipping of your teeth. And, as cliche as it sounds, yes—it could happen to you. Accidents happen. So if you are left with a chunk out of your tooth, what should you do? Depending on the severity of the chip, this could be one of those times when you need to call the emergency dentist.
What to do if you chip a tooth:
- Call us (or your local Charleston dentist). Make sure you get in to see us as soon as possible. If you have the tooth fragment that chipped off, there is a chance we could reattach it.
- While you wait to get in to see us, follow these 3 steps:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Apply pressure using gauze if there is any bleeding in your mouth as a result of the chipped tooth.
- Protect the injured tooth (if you aren’t able to see us the same day) by applying a dental cement. You can get this at most major drug stores. This will protect your tooth, but also protect your mouth from the jagged or sharp edge of the broken tooth.
Once you are able to visit the dentist, there are a few things that we can do to help repair your tooth. The best case scenario is that we can reattach the broken piece. However, that may not be an option depending on the severity of the break, or if you are even able to recover the tooth fragment that chipped off. We will assess the break, and provide options like these:
Treatments for a chipped tooth:
- Minor chipping – If you have really minor tooth chipping, most often we will just polish down the sharp edge so that it will not cut your tongue or the inside of your mouth. Other than that, there is not much that needs to be done for a small tooth chip. However, we can also fill in the chipped portion of the tooth with a tooth-colored resin that will disguise the damage.
- Medium chipping – This is when you have chipped a tooth and the chipping has not damaged the interior (or pulp) of the tooth, but the damage is more noticeable, and the chipped edges of the tooth are sharper or more pronounced. When this type of damage occurs, we will definitely either use a filling (resin), or porcelain cap or crown to make the tooth whole again. This repairs the tooth—its function and appearance—and helps to prevent infection and irritation.
- Major chipping – When major damage occurs to the tooth through chipping, root canal therapy may be needed. This is especially true if the tooth’s nerve has been exposed. Once the root canal has taken place, a crown can then be placed over the tooth to replace and protect what is left of the tooth. Our dentist office specializes in these types of cosmetic dentistry in Charleston, SC. We can actually custom craft most of these repairs right here in our Charleston dentist office.
To prevent further damage to your other teeth (especially if playing sports), it is important to take the necessary precautions. This may include avoiding certain activities or using a mouth guard to help protect your teeth. When any necessary repairs have been completed, it is essential (as it was prior to receiving a chipped tooth) to maintain regular and thorough oral hygiene.