Even though dental enamel is the hardest substance in the body, it’s possible to chip a tooth. In addition to being painful, a chipped tooth can pose a dental emergency if bacteria penetrate the inside of your tooth. Today we are going to explain what to do with a chipped tooth and how you can minimise the damage. If you suspect you are having a dental emergency, please call us immediately on (07) 3185 2387.
What Causes A Broken Or Chipped Tooth?
There are lots of ways to break, fracture, or chip a tooth:
- Falling or trauma to the mouth
- Biting on food that is too hard, like toffee apples or ice
- A tooth can be weakened by damage or decay
- Teeth grinding or bruxism
- Using your teeth as tools to open a bottle or container.
What To Do With A Chipped Tooth
If you have a fractured, broken, or chipped tooth, you must make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. Depending on the amount of tooth that has chipped, you could be in a dental emergency and at risk of infection or further damage, which can result in you losing the tooth.
While you wait to see your dentist, here are some coping measures you can take:
- Use over-the-counter pain medication if you have discomfort or swelling
- Use warm salt water to rinse your mouth and keep the area clean
- Avoid chewing and biting on that side of your mouth.
Treatment Options For A Chipped Tooth
The extent of damage will determine the best treatment approach for your chipped tooth. Your dentist may recommend:
Dental fillings and bonding
If you have a fracture or a small break, your dentist may be able to repair it with a dental filling or bonding. If the chip is on a front tooth, your dentist can use tooth-coloured filling material, so it blends in.
If you have broken off a larger piece of the tooth, your dentist may recommend a dental crown or cap. This is a tooth-coloured cover that is placed over the whole tooth to protect it against further damage or decay. In addition to protecting it, the dental crown will also restore the tooth to full function.
Root canal treatment
If the crack goes deep into your tooth and the tooth pulp has been infected, your dentist may suggest a root canal treatment to preserve your tooth. Depending on the extent of the infection, you may need to return to have your root canals cleaned out more than once.
What To Do With A Knocked-Out Tooth
A tooth that has been knocked out is a dental emergency. Please try to find the tooth, keep it clean and moist and make your way to the nearest clinic. In some cases, it is possible to transplant a knocked-out tooth if it can be tended to within 30 minutes. Do not touch the roots of the tooth if possible.
For help with what to do with a chipped tooth or to make an appointment, please contact us: (07) 3185 2387.
Repairing a Chipped or Broken Tooth
What to Do If You Chip or Break a Tooth