What to Do Immediately After Chipping a Tooth

Mukilteo Dental ArtsEmergency dental visits tend to increase during the summer time. This is no surprise; children and young adults have more free time to engage in sports and other activities that carry a risk of sudden physical impact. If an injury incurs and results in a chipped tooth, act immediately to minimize damage.

Take These Steps

Obviously, the first step is to see your family dentist right away. However, there are a few steps you should take in between the moment of injury and being seated into the dental chair.

What you need to do:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • If there is bleeding, apply pressure to the area with gauze.
  • Protect the tooth using dental cement, which you can acquire at your local drug store.
  • If you have the separated chipped tooth, place it in a small baggie and keep it moist by adding a few droplets of water in the bag or wrapping the fragment in wet gauze.

What to Expect at the Dentist

The procedure varies depending on the severity of the injury. If the damage is minor, the chipped tooth can simply be filed and polished. If damage to the enamel incurred, a filling, cap, or crown may be placed over the tooth. This restores normal function and protects the inner layers from infection. If the damage occurs to a front tooth, you may be referred to a cosmetic dentist for a porcelain veneer to mask the visible chipping. In the worst case scenario, the chip exposes the nerve, in which case an endodontist will need to be brought in to perform a root canal.

Even if the injury appears relatively minor and is painless, you should still have it looked at by a dentist. What starts as a minor chipped tooth can exacerbate and fracture further if precautionary steps are not taken.

Visit Dr. An at Mukilteo Dental Arts to schedule an appointment for chipped tooth repair or any other dental services your family may need.
Edited by Justin Vorhees

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