A Chipped Tooth: What Should You Do?

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Life is unpredictable, and accidents are on the top of those events that make it feel like a roller coaster ride. Driving accidents are the top life-changing events, with people suffering from non-fatal injuries estimated to be about 20 to 50 million worldwide. Then there are happy accidents, ones that happen as you perform your favorite hobbies, but a moment of hesitation leads to hospitalization or a permanent scar. Unfortunately, some of those situations might lead you to suffer from a chipped tooth. While you are lucky enough to escape a fatal injury, the pain and scar you will receive from breaking parts of your tooth remain unpleasant to experience. All physical activities should stop as soon as you realize that you have a chipped tooth. Picking up the detached part will be the first action, but the following steps should already be towards treatment and recovery.

Relieve the Pain

The tooth is among the strongest part of the body, which means it takes a lot of force to get completely cut in half. Your first thought might be experiencing tooth pain, but the actual shell will likely be numb following the accident. The most significant problem, however, is the exposed nerves on your chipped tooth. Pain can already be a constant presence as soon as air breezes through your mouth. Soon your gums will also become painful because of the impact on the chipped tooth.

The painful sensation can make you want to stop performing activities involving the mouth. Blood will flow, making it necessary to go home and rinse your damaged tooth with warm water. However, the pain might require medication for relief. Fortunately, you can drink over-the-counter pain relievers. Numbing agents and anti-inflammatory medicines might also help you prevent the pain from becoming bothersome. However, staying on the recommended dosage is a must.

Protect the Mouth

The chipped tooth will be your most significant problem. However, the break could result in the tooth displaying harmful edges for the rest of the mouth. Your tongue might slice because of the chipped tooth’s jagged feature causing bleeding. It might also become a loose tooth, exposing your gums to bacterial infection. Protecting the tooth should be immediate action, especially when pain relievers and numbing agents make it challenging to determine areas where the chipped tooth caused external damages. Fortunately, you can apply a sterilized gauze pad or cotton to prevent the chipped tooth from becoming a threat to the rest of the mouth.

Dental wax could also provide a temporary solution, allowing you to smoothen the jagged edge of your chipped tooth and make multiple activities less painful. Eating and drinking will be more convenient when you cover the chipped tooth, ensuring you can still perform the necessary tasks before your scheduled visit to the dentist.

Visit the Dentist ASAP

a female dentist checking the chipped tooth of his patient

Going to the dentist should be the next step as soon as you suffer from a chipped tooth. They are professionals who can handle any dental issues, which means they might have multiple options ready for your situation.

The first option is a crown. It acts as a cap providing long-term coverage for a chipped tooth. The process might be your best option since it does not require extracting or removing the tooth. Fortunately, dentists can offer same-day crowns to ensure that patients don’t have to suffer from chipped teeth any longer.

The chipped part might not be significant enough to warrant a new crown, which means dentists might opt for fillings instead. The repair will start with bonding a liquid or gel that roughens the chipped part, making it easier for the filling to bond with the tooth using adhesive. Ultraviolet lights will harden the material, leaving you with a fixed tooth that didn’t seem like it suffered from any damage.

However, the chipped tooth might require extraction. When the tooth’s center gets exposed, particularly the pulp, bacterial infection becomes a severe threat. Leaving it on might cause decay, which means dentists will opt for a root canal. It will require cleaning to eliminate bacteria that might already be inside the mouth. After extracting the chipped tooth, dentists will add a dental implant to cover the space left by the tooth.

Dentists will determine those options once they see the extent of the damage to your chipped tooth. However, it might be challenging to find a clinic where they are available immediately. Your first step should be identifying the earliest vacant window to have your chipped tooth treated and fixed. Once you have a schedule, relieving the pain and protecting the mouth should be your top priority.

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