If you’ve chipped a tooth in the past in some kind of accident, whether in sports, a car, or from a blow to the face, you know how painful and scary it can be. If you’ve been lucky so far, it’s good to know what to do if it does happen.
Don’t panic, just wash your mouth out with warm water immediately and apply pressure on any point that is bleeding. Get a cold compress or bag of ice (even frozen vegetables) and hold it on the injured area for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off to prevent swelling for at least an hour. Afterwards, wash your mouth with salt water several times a day to reduce the risk of infection. If there is a jagged edge on the injured tooth, go to a drugstore to purchase Dentemp, a dental cement that can temporarily cover the chipped area.
If you are in pain, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen and call our office to set a time to have the chipped tooth or teeth treated. Meantime, when you eat, choose soft foods and don’t bite down on the affected area.
Fortunately, chipping a tooth is common and there are many options to fix this. If the chip is relatively small, it may be covered with dental bonding material made of porcelain and resin, which is often used for large cavities as the filling because it looks like a natural part of the tooth.
If the chip is large, but superficial, the most common solution is a veneer, a thin piece of dental porcelain that can be shaded to look like your tooth before it was harmed, which is attached to the front to completely cover the chipped area. We can use our CEREC machine to produce a customized veneer in a single visit, unlike other practices that have to send an impression of the tooth to a dental lab to manufacture one and return it in about two weeks.
On the other hand, if the tooth has also been fractured, it will require a dental crown to not only cover the chip, but hold the structure together. This can also be made on the spot, after you select whether you want it made of porcelain or a metallic material and choose the shade. If there has been damage to the gums during the accident, this can be treated while you wait.
If you have questions about teeth that have been chipped or cracked before and never repaired, set an appointment for a full examination and an opportunity to explore your best options for making your smile even more beautiful in the New Year.