You find yourself chewing on a pen cap or tripping and knocking into something, and you notice something in your mouth that isn’t going away- you give it a nibble; you can’t seem to chew through it- and then you realize- you have a chipped tooth.
It’s pretty safe to assume that if you’ve chipped a tooth, you weren’t planning for it to happen. Your next dentist appointment may not be for a few months, so it is time to give them a call and let them know. Fortunately, our 24-hour call line is available to schedule an appointment at anytime. After you’ve scheduled an appointment, it is important to find the chip and save it. Put it in a plastic bag- and keep it moist by adding a few drops of water or saliva, or by wrapping it in a moist gauze wrap. In the event that it fell on the ground, gently rinse it off- don’t scrub it! Make sure you bring it to the dentist with you when you leave
If you chip your tooth, there are a number of solutions your cosmetic dentist might proceed with to remedy the problem. Depending on the severity of the chip, your treatment may require one quick visit to fix the chipped tooth, or, in the worst case scenario, many. In any situation though, you can rest assured that your tooth will be well taken care of.
If the chipped tooth is only a minor chip, the easiest and least expensive treatment plan would be a process called bonding. Using a tooth colored composite resin- Dr. Navarro will reattach the tooth with an adhesive, cover it in the resin, and harden it back into place with a special UV light the solidifies the resin.
If the tooth you’ve chipped is a front tooth, your dentist may use a veneer to reestablish it’s previous beauty. A veneer is a tooth colored porcelain shell that covers the front of the tooth- think of it like a phone case, but for your teeth- it’ll look nice, and protect the tooth from any further damage. While this process may take a longer amount of time than an emergency bonding, it is still a perfect solution to a chipped tooth that may last longer than a bonding.
The last solution we’ll speak of today is possibly the most dramatic- a root canal. If the chipped tooth is broken so deeply that the pulp is exposed- the center of the tooth that contains the blood vessels and nerve endings- bacteria from your mouth can enter the crevice and lead to an oral infection. In the event that this happens, your dentist will perform a root canal to remove the infected or dead pulp before it damages the rest of the tooth. Your dentist will most likely next use a crown to cover the canal.
If you think you’ve chipped a tooth- follow the steps above, call your dentist, and take a deep breath- it’s going to be okay! Have further questions about a chipped tooth, or want to schedule a consult to treat yours? Request an appointment with us now!