If you accidentally chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Call up your local emergency dentist and they will walk you through any necessary first aid care while you’re on your way to their office. Dental emergencies always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times, making them even more stressful than they already are. When you visit your dentist, they’ll help ease your worries and provide you with the necessary treatment to help protect your mouth from any additional damage. Read on for how to handle a chipped tooth and what treatments your dentist may suggest to repair your smile.
Steps to Take in a Dental Emergency
If you have accidentally chipped or fractured a tooth, you should always visit your local emergency dentist. Even if you’re not experiencing any pain or discomfort, a damaged tooth is vulnerable to being attacked by harmful oral bacteria and becoming infected. Here are some steps to take if you chipped a tooth:
- Call your emergency dentist immediately and schedule an appointment.
- Cover any sharp edges of your tooth using orthodontic wax.
- Steer clear of hot or cold foods and beverages.
- Rinse your mouth with a lukewarm saltwater solution.
- For swelling, place a cold compress on the outside affected area of your face.
- Eat soft foods to reduce pain and prevent further damage.
Possible Treatment Options
If the chip is only minor, it may just need to be smoothed out so it doesn’t cause any damage or irritation to your oral tissues. A more serious injury needs to be restored to prevent a tooth infection from developing and wreaking havoc on your other teeth. Some different solutions that your emergency dentist may suggest include:
- Dental bonding. For teeth that aren’t as severely damaged, your dentist may be able to use a composite resin to reform the structure of your tooth and protect it.
- Porcelain veneers. These are thin, strong shells that are custom made to conceal the damaged tooth and create a natural and complete appearance.
- If a larger portion of your tooth is missing, a crown might be the best option to keep it from breaking even further because it holds it together.
Avoiding Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies can’t be completely prevented, but there are some precautionary measures you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing one and keep your mouth healthy and happy:
- Brush twice each day and floss daily.
- Use fluoridated oral health products.
- Visit your dentist every six months.
- Wear protective mouthguards if you’re an athlete.
- Treat bruxism with a custom oral appliance.
If you find yourself with a dental emergency on your hands, don’t hesitate to contact a professional right away. In these cases, time is of the essence, and seeking immediate treatment could prevent additional damage from occurring.
About the Author
Dr. Shannon Stokes has over 18 years of experience practicing both family and cosmetic dentistry. He graduated from one of the best dental schools in the United States, Baylor College of Dentistry, in 1996. He has advanced his education by completing post-graduate courses in cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, implants, and even orthodontics for adults. He enjoys providing patients that come to him with emergencies with fast and effective treatment that eases their pain and stress. For questions or to schedule an emergency appointment, visit his website or call 972-596-0200.