What to Do if You Chip, Crack, or Break a Tooth

Chipped ToothRegardless of how well you take care of your teeth, it's easy to end up with a chipped tooth or, even worse, a cracked or broken one. That's because chips can arise from a number of mundane activities like opening a package with your food, eating hard crunchy foods, or accidents that lead to you getting hit in the mouth.

A chipped tooth can be painless, or it can come with intense pain. What is certain about a chipped tooth is the fact it takes away from your smile and can even make you feel self-conscious.

The best way to deal with a chipped tooth is to have it checked out and fixed by a dentist as soon as possible. The procedure your dentist will opt for depends on the specifics of your situation.

First aid for a chipped tooth

It might take a few weeks before you are able to go to the dentist when you chip a tooth, but there are some things you can do before your scheduled appointment that can make it easier for you to live with it until you can get professional help. For starters, save any piece of the tooth you can find. Your dentist might be able to attach it back with an adhesive.

If there is pain associated with the chip, take over-the-counter pain medication. That will help to minimize the pain and control the swelling. Rinsing your mouth often can also help you to remove food particles that can end up aggravating the tooth.

If brushing your teeth leads to pain and discomfort because of the chip, clean the areas furthest from the tooth in question and use a quality mouthwash to clean the rest of your mouth.

If you still experience lots of pain even after taking over-the-counter painkillers, apply an ice pack to the area around the tooth. This will further reduce any swelling and pain associated with the injury.

Procedures used to address chipped teeth

Your dentist has a handful of options when it comes to addressing chipped teeth. These include:

1. Dental bonding

If you are dealing with a minor chip, your dentist might decide to use a dental bond to address the issue. The dentist applies a soft resin to the chip and molds it into the gap. The dentist then hardens the resin using a special light. Dental bonding can also reattach a piece of your tooth that breaks off if you are able to save it.

2. Dental crowns

Crowns are often for more serious cases of chipped teeth. Also known as caps, these crowns act as a protective cover for any natural tooth that sustains damage. It protects the pulp and nerves from damage due to exposure to food particles and high/low temperatures.

3. Veneers

These act as covers that are used to cover imperfections on a tooth like a chip. The enamel of the tooth is filled off by your dentist to ensure a naturally-looking fit.

Contact us to find out more about what can be done about a chipped tooth and restore your smile.

For more information on chipped teeth or to schedule an appointment with John R. Viviani, DDS, PC, request an appointment in our Huntington dental office here: https://www.drviviani.com. Or call us at (631) 424-3838.

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