Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth can happen rather easily. One moment you are chewing your lunch, and the next you may realize part of your tooth is missing.

While chipping a tooth doesn’t always occur that quickly, accidents can happen, prompting a visit to your emergency dentist

If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, use our “Dentist Near Me” ZIP search tool and find an emergency dentist immediately to prevent infection and potentially save your tooth.

Chipping a tooth is not only unpleasant and painful, but it can also leave a person feeling self-conscious. Following the tips below should help care for a chipped tooth before it turns into a more significant dental issue.

chipped tooth

How To Fix A Chipped Tooth

You’re out skateboarding and a skateboard hits your mouth, causing a tooth to chip. Or perhaps you’ve been chewing on some ice, and all of a sudden, you hear a crack that signals an injury to one of your teeth. There are numerous ways patients can chip their teeth – from unexpected accidents to tooth decay. It’s crucial to understand what to do if you end up in this situation.

You need to visit a dentist as quickly as possible to avoid an infection and to assess any damage. Otherwise, you will almost certainly lose the entire tooth. You can quickly use “dentist near me” to search for an emergency dentists in your area.

How To Fix a Chipped Tooth at Home

While waiting to confirm your emergency dental appointment there are several things you can do to take care of your broken tooth. If you are in pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever to alleviate some of it. Using a saltwater solution to rinse your mouth will help reduce swelling and lower your chances of gum and tooth infection.

Try not to eat hard foods and chew on the opposing side of your mouth; be cautious of how it impacts the chip on your tooth. Opt for softer foods such as soup, applesauce, or smoothies.

If you have a jutted edge to your tooth that affects your cheeks, gums, or other teeth, you can use a piece of dental wax to cover the tooth to prevent it from rubbing on anything else. Many pharmacies sell dental wax.

Types of Chipped Teeth

The way your tooth breaks can help guide your dentist in choosing the best treatment. The more severe the break, the more intensive your dental procedure will be to fix it. Ultimately, your dentist will work to save your existing tooth. If tooth extraction is inevitable, patients can look to dental implants to restore the broken tooth.

1. Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth or a slightly chipped tooth can be challenging to detect at times, especially if it isn’t entirely noticeable. Toothache or sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages could be a sign your tooth has cracked.

If you feel pain when you release your bite, it could be a serious sign that the tooth has broken. If you believe you have a cracked or slightly chipped tooth, you will need a dentist to repair it to prevent infection, tooth decay, or nerve damage. The crack within your tooth enamel will leave room for bacteria and plaque to become trapped, risking tooth decay and infection.

A dentist will need to assess the depth of the crack affecting your tooth. If it is on the surface or relatively small, your dentist may be able to polish the surface, making it smooth again. If it’s larger, they will look for a filling to repair the rest of your tooth.

2. Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth is what most people think of when picturing a dental emergency. Chips can happen from accidents or tooth decay. If they happen, they leave a portion of your tooth missing, which isn’t just a cosmetic downside.

If the chip is tiny, you might not even need treatment. For larger chips, your dentist can use a dental filling to replace the area of the tooth enamel that broke off.

If you have experienced a chipped tooth, be sure to visit your dentist as soon as possible to assess the damage immediately. The worst thing a person can do is leave a chipped tooth untreated and susceptible to infection.

3. A Broken Cusp

The cusp of your tooth is the chewing surface of it. Not only is this part crucial, but also chipping it may require more extensive dental work. Luckily, these kinds of breaks typically don’t cause much pain, as they don’t directly impact the nerve within your tooth. Your dentist will need to repair the broken molar tooth to prevent any grooves where cavities can occur and to give your tooth its proper functioning back.

4. Severe Chip or Break

These types of breaks generally come from accidents involving trauma to the mouth. There could be bleeding from the tooth, and it can result in much pain as the nerve of your broken tooth is typically exposed.

If the root of your tooth has been damaged, your dentist will work to remove the nerve by root canal and restore the painful broken tooth with a dental crown. With a crown, your dentist will be able to give the tooth a natural appearance. Some patients may need orthodontic treatment if the tooth has been shifted, depending on the force.

5. Chipped Tooth by Tooth Decay

Tooth decay works by weakening the enamel on your teeth. When this happens, teeth can be much easier to crack or break, even from simple chewing. Tooth decay also happens from within the tooth so the exterior enamel can crumble away. In this case, restoring the tooth can be much more difficult, depending on the extent of the damage.

Ways To Prevent a Chipped Tooth

Though it’s not possible to always prevent an accident, there are a few steps you can take towards protecting your smile and lessening your chances of a chipped tooth.

Try using a mouthguard when playing heavy contact sports or hockey. This could help save you a trip to your emergency dentist. Schedule routine professional teeth cleanings and oral exams with your dentist regularly. By doing this, you’ll help your teeth remain free of tooth decay and potential breaks in the future.

Oral exams and dental X-rays also help your dentist to see if there are small cracks and if they can save the tooth before the issue worsens. Catching problems like these early on can be critical to saving you time, money, and pain preventing these conditions from causing more significant damage down the road.

Repairing a Chipped Tooth

  1. Smooth It Out

    For reasonably small cracks that occur on the surface of your tooth’s enamel, your dentist may be able to polish the tooth and eliminate the small space that could accumulate bacteria and plaque. These are often seen during routine oral exams or dental X-rays. You may not notice you have a crack or chip in your tooth, but treating it early can prevent it from worsening or from developing tooth decay.

  2. Use a Filling or Bonding

    When the tooth chip, crack, or break is relatively small, your dentist can use a filling or bonding to restore function to the tooth. If there is any sign of tooth decay, your dentist will thoroughly clean the affected tooth before filling the missing areas with a type of resin. This resin is known as bonding and can often have the same color as a natural tooth.

    If the area needs some minor rebuilding, your dentist will scratch the surface of your tooth to give the bonding better adherence. From there, they will shape and mold the bonding material to fill in the missing portion. Then, your dentist will use a UV light to harden the composite material and polish it to match the rest of your existing tooth. Fillings and bondings are excellent options for minor chips and can last a long time with proper at-home care.

  3. Cosmetic Veneers

    If the chip in your tooth hasn’t affected any nerve endings and is purely cosmetic, your dentist may suggest using a dental veneer instead of a filling or crown.

    Veneers are thin sheets of material composed of either porcelain or resin composite, which are placed over an existing tooth. Your dentist will shave down the enamel before placing temporary veneers on while you have permanent ones designed in a lab, based on a mold of your tooth. Some dentist offices do offer same-day veneers that allow their patients to select a prefabricated one that is then shaped to their smile. For most veneers, it will take two visits to your dentist before completing the procedure.

    An advantage of veneers is that you can customize their shape and color. While veneers can be on the expensive side of methods to repair a chipped tooth, they last a long time with proper care. They can also restore the appearance of a person’s smile, going beyond merely repairing a chipped tooth.

  4. Dental Crowns

    Dental crowns can fix a variety of dental issues, but using a crown to repair chipped or broken teeth is quite common. You can think of a dental crown as a type of cap applied over the tooth, holding it together and shielding it from bacteria and plaque. They are a great option when there isn’t enough of the tooth left to recreate with filling or bonding.

    Dental crowns are made from different materials, like metal, porcelain, or resin. For visible teeth, patients can opt for porcelain or resin crowns to create a more natural-looking appearance.

    To apply a dental crown, your dentist will first treat your chipped tooth. If there is any bleeding or trauma, they will have to determine whether or not to perform a root canal treatment to save the existing tooth. If the tooth cannot be rescued, they will need to extract it and use a dental implant instead.

    For a tooth that is still intact, your dentist will take a mold to create an exact impression to make the dental crown. You will receive a temporary crown to provide some function and normal appearance to your tooth while your permanent dental crown is being made. Once it is ready, the temporary crown is removed so that the permanent one can be cemented to your tooth.

  5. Dental Implants

    Sometimes, a chip can be so severe that your tooth cannot be saved. If a tooth has been knocked out by the root, or if the damage affects its integrity, then you’ll need a dental implant to recreate the tooth.

    During this process, if your tooth is not already removed, your dentist will fully extract it. The implant uses a metal screw or frame that is surgically put into your jawbone, provided you have healthy gum and bone tissue.

    After the implant is in place, your dentist can use it as a framework to build a tooth around. Typically, patients will have a crown placed over their dental implant to provide them with a full functioning tooth. This procedure provides a sturdier option over others, although it can be quite costly.

Cost of Repairing Chipped Tooth

The cost to repair a chipped tooth at the dentist’s office is ultimately based on how severe your chip is. However, much of this will also depend on the number of teeth affected and the type of procedure your dentist recommends. Options such as veneers or dental implants can cost more than others, as these can require more invasive practices while also providing a cosmetic enhancement to your smile.

To assist with the cost of repairing a chipped tooth, patients can take ease knowing ToothHQ Dental locations accept most insurance plans. You can also check with your individual provider to see what type of emergency dental care is covered under your policy and what options you’ll have if you find yourself in this situation.

For patients without dental insurance, ToothHQ has several ways to minimize or manage the cost of their visit. Emergencies happen unexpectedly, and you might not always have the savings to handle the financial burden of taking care of a chipped tooth.

All affiliated ToothHQ dental offices run offers and promotions for patients. In other instances, patients can look to payment plans or even options like the OneSmile Dental Plan to assist with the cost. Price should never deter you from visiting an emergency dentist if you are experiencing a chipped tooth. Leaving your chipped tooth untreated can lead to severe infection. It could potentially cost you more to fix what could have been a minor dental issue.

Finding an Emergency Dentist Near Me

When you’ve chipped a tooth, it’s essential to see your dentist as soon as possible. To find the quickest dentist near you, our “dentist near me” search tool will provide convenient local options. There you will find several ToothHQ Dental Specialists locations, with emergency dentists and their hours ready for you.

To schedule an appointment, you can either visit us online or call us at (214)731-0124. If you are not certain what to do with your chipped tooth in the meantime, give us a call, and one of our friendly staff members will assist you. Chipping a tooth doesn’t have to be a nightmare with professional hands always on deck to help.

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FAQ for Chipped Tooth Repair

No, a chipped tooth cannot grow back as the tooth enamel does not have any blood vessels like bones that can repair themselves.

Tooth chipping happens to everyone at some point in their lives. And there are high chances of it happening when you are getting older as your teeth become more vulnerable, especially when you do not take proper care of them.

Here are three reasons which lead to tooth chips. 

  • Teeth grinding
  • Chewing on hard things
  • Not getting essential nutrients for your teeth. 

If your chipped tooth is hurting, it is clear that the chip in your teeth is large enough to expose the nerves in the tooth’s inner layer and you need an immediate visit to a dentist.

If a broken tooth is kept untreated, it can lead to sensitivity, decay, and ultimately to the loss of the tooth. Therefore, if you want to save your cracked tooth, you must visit a dentist so that it can be evaluated and treated as soon as possible.

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