I Have a Chipped Tooth! What Should I Do Next?

It can be shocking when you suddenly realized you have a chipped tooth. Even more alarming is chipping a tooth and not noticing it immediately, opening the door to future complications. That’s why regular dental care is so essential — to recognize these issues and address them in a timely fashion. If you suspect you have chipped your tooth, Advanced Dentistry is there for you. Don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment — call us and we’ll get you in as soon as possible to help your smile get back to normal.

How can I tell that I have a chipped tooth?

When the chip is major, you’ll definitely know it — especially if the chip is in a prominent location, like the teeth that show when you smile. But sometimes, a chipped tooth might initially go unnoticed, like when the chip is on a molar, or the chip occurred while you were playing sports or sleeping.

That’s right — chips can happen when you least expect it. If you play contact sports like football, soccer, or basketball without wearing a protective mouthguard, all it takes is one good hit to the face or jaw to chip a tooth — or more than one tooth!

The same thing can happen even when you’re at rest. Some people grind their teeth at night. The cause of teeth grinding can be stress, genetics, or another condition. With repeated grinding, your teeth can weaken over time and be more susceptible to chipping.

Likewise, eating acidic menu items like juice, your morning cup of coffee, and even spicy indulgences can wear down your enamel and make your teeth more likely to chip in certain situations.

With a chipped tooth you can’t immediately see or don’t instantly notice, you might notice a difference in your biting and eating, the way your teeth rest together, or roughness when you touch your tongue to the tooth in question. You might even experience irritation on your tongue from the uneven surface.

If you think you have chipped one of your teeth, the best way to know for sure is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. We will be able to know right away if there is a problem, and we can make a plan to address it — or take care of the chip immediately.

Once I know that I’ve chipped my tooth, what should I do?

Luckily, the majority of the time, a chipped tooth isn’t an emergency. However, depending on the severity of the damage, you will still need to schedule an appointment to see your dentist at your earliest convenience. Severe chips that affect the aesthetics of your smile or that cause pain are more serious, and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Ahead of your appointment, if you are in any kind of pain or discomfort, manage it with over-the-counter medication or even gum-numbing gel. If you experience swelling of the cheek or jaw, apply a cold compress to help bring it down. Especially if putting pressure on the chipped tooth hurts, try to avoid using the damaged tooth.

If a piece of your tooth chipped off and you managed to keep it, act fast to save the tooth so it can possibly be reattached. Preserve it in milk or your own saliva and schedule an immediate appointment with your dentist to try to save it.

What can I expect during my appointment at Advanced Dentistry to fix my chipped tooth?

Everything comes down to the severity of the chip on your tooth, but one thing stays certain: You’ll always receive excellent care from the professionals at Advanced Dentistry. No matter how severe the chip is, our team will work together to keep you informed on your dental options throughout the process.

If the chip is minor, your dentist will simply grind it down to even out any sharp edges and polish it. With more major chips and breakages, your dentist might recommend bonding, veneers, or onlays. Bonding is when resin or porcelain is attached to your chipped tooth and shaped to the original form. Veneers are a layer of porcelain that is custom made to fit your smile. Onlays are applied to the surface of chipped molars.

How can I prevent a chipped tooth in the future?

After chipping a tooth, you’ll want to take steps to prevent chipping any other teeth in the future. If you play contact sports, wear the appropriate mouth protection. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about your options for mouth guards to cushion your teeth. Consume acidic foods in moderation, and brush your teeth or rinse your mouth out when you do eat or drink them.

If you do experience chipped teeth in the future, don’t despair. Advanced Dentistry will help you restore your smile in no time. Give us a call at (614) 399-9381.