You chipped or broke your tooth, now what? Is this chipped tooth a dental emergency? Depending on the size of the chip or which tooth was impacted, the outcomes vary. Of course, you’ll always want to consult a professional dentist instead of coming to a conclusion through self-diagnosis. If time doesn’t allow immediately, prepare yourself with the following details on what a chipped tooth could mean for you.
Note, chipping a tooth is one of the most common dental injuries according to the American Association of Endodontists. Eating hard foods is not the only way to chip a tooth. Chipped teeth may occur due to untreated cavities, old, brittle fillings or harsh impact from sports or roughhousing.
You Chipped a Tooth, Now What?
If pieces of your tooth/teeth have broken off, do your best to collect all the pieces you can and immediately place them in saline solution or milk. This will preserve the pieces until you can contact an emergency dentist. If bleeding occurs at the point of impact, apply a thick layer of gauze to the wound or, if you don’t have gauze at your disposal, a dampened tea bag will help close the vessels to cease bleeding. Apply pressure for 30 minutes or until bleeding has stopped.
Not sure you have the bandwidth to pay for a dental emergency? We have payment options, many of them.
The way your tooth is treated depends on the size of the chip or break. Read these signs to determine whether or not your chip or break is considered a dental emergency.
Small Chip or Break Repair Procedures & Options
Smaller chips aren’t considered a dental emergency, but still shouldn’t be held off. These will generally be repaired with dental bonding. This is a tooth-colored material that will help bond and reshape the tooth to its natural state.
Dental bonding, however, isn’t a permanent repair and can sometimes decay throughout time with normal chewing and daily usage. Depending on the dentist or patient preference, the chip can be fixed with a porcelain veneer, covering the entire tooth instead of being temporarily patched with bondage.
Large Chip or Break Repair Procedures & Options
For larger, more severe breaks in the tooth, more extensive repairing will have to be done. Larger breaks will most likely result in more tooth pain, especially if there has been damage to the nerves of your tooth. Often times, a crown or cap will not fix the break and a root canal will have to be performed. If cracks go below the gum line, the tooth will need to be extracted and replaced completely.
In less severe cases of larger breaks, a simple cap or veneer can be placed on top of the tooth if nerve tissue is not exposed.
If you’re unsure of the severity of your chip or break, or have any questionable oral pain, please consult the experienced and readily available Emergency Dental team for help! Because pain can’t wait, and it doesn’t have to with our payment options.
Dr. Roberto Monteagudo is an expert in advanced dentistry, full mouth reconstruction, neuromuscular dentistry and sedation dentistry. He attended the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies from 1999 to 2006 and graduated from Marquette University, School of Dentistry in 1990. Dr. Monteagudo speaks frequently throughout the Wisconsin area on advancements in dentistry and patient education. Dr. Roberto Monteagudo lives in Milwaukee with his lovely wife, Gina, and their seven children whom they make a top priority. He also enjoys outdoor activities and is deeply committed to giving back to his community through charitable events. His warmth and caring combined with his commitment to patient comfort through sedation dentistry, leading edge, gentle, and non-invasive technologies is the reason that his patients travel long distances to see him.