Computer enthusiasts love microchips. Patrons of Mexican restaurants love chips with salsa. Some people have best friends named Chip. Despite all the love these chips receive, nobody likes chips in their teeth. This sort of common dental injury can happen for reasons like sporting accidents, teeth grinding, or biting into food too hard. Fortunately, your emergency dentist is well-prepared to repair your tooth and have your smile back to its usual beautiful self. Here’s what to do when you chip a tooth to prevent further injury and have your smile repaired.
What Other Problems Can a Chipped Tooth Cause?
Chipped teeth aren’t always considered medical emergencies and some people experience no pain as a result. Small chips might only be an aesthetic issue. If chipping your tooth has exposed a nerve, the resulting pain will probably be enough to compel you to seek emergency dental attention immediately. Chips in your teeth are weak points in their enamel, making them more vulnerable to injury or infection. Teeth injured this way may also become more sensitive to pressure or temperature changes.
What Should I Do After I Chip a Tooth?
Here are a few steps to take after chipping a tooth:
- Warm water rinse: Rinsing your mouth with warm water can help clear potential irritants from the injury site as well as wash away blood and soothe pain. Warm water is best because your injured tooth might be especially sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
- Tend to the bleeding: If your tooth is bleeding, you should see a dentist immediately. Apply pressure to the tooth using clean gauze to stop the flow.
- Treat the swelling: Apply a cold compress or ice pack to your face over the area of the injured tooth to reduce swelling.
- Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain management medication can help soothe discomfort as well as reduce swelling and inflammation. If you’re bleeding, avoid medications like aspirin that can hinder the clotting process.
- Protect the tooth: If you have dental cement, use it to protect your tooth until you can see your dentist.
- Protect the soft tissues in your mouth: If the chip in your tooth has any jagged edges, you can cut your lips and tongue against them. Apply dental wax to smooth the area out until you can see your dentist.
- Keep the chip: If you can bring the missing chip with you to the dentist, do so. Keep it in a container with milk or saliva to prevent it from drying out. It can be reattached in many cases, but there are other treatment options available if it is lost.
- See a dentist as soon as possible: Chipped teeth can worsen over time. Ideally, you’ll want to get to the dentist a few hours after the incident.
Smaller chips in teeth can easily and discreetly be repaired with dental bonding, but larger ones may need to be covered with porcelain veneers. Knowing what to do when it happens can help you achieve the best possible result.
About the Practice
Indianapolis Family Dentistry is a trusted source of top-notch dental care in Indianapolis, IN. Led by Drs. Mark M. Farthing and Armin M. Tepner, the skilled staff provides patients with convenient, comfortable, and thorough oral health services. Areas of expertise include preventive, restorative, emergency, and cosmetic dentistry such as dental bonding and porcelain veneers. If you are concerned about a chipped tooth, dial (317) 898-3384 or contact the office online to schedule an appointment.