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4 General Dentist Tips on Treating a Chipped Tooth
A chipped tooth requires treatment from a general dentist. It can be the result of bite forces in the mouth or trauma to the face during sports or an accident. How badly damaged a chipped tooth often determines if it requires immediate treatment and what treatment options work best.
Our general dentist discusses chipped teeth
Some chips only affect the outer surface of teeth, while others might affect below the gumline. Minor chips typically only affect the outer layers of teeth while more severe ones extend deeper. Here are some tips from our general dentist:
- Determine if it is a dental emergency: One of the first things people with chipped teeth should do is analyze the extent of the damage. A chipped tooth that leads to excruciating toothaches or blood coming from inside the tooth typically requires emergency dental care. That is usually a sign the injury has left the pulp chamber or the tooth's root damaged
- Use over the counter painkillers: OTC painkillers can help to manage pain caused by a chipped tooth. Clove oil and other toothache remedies can also help with managing tooth pain.
- Cover up sharp edges: A chipped tooth often has sharp edges that can damage the soft tissues in the mouth. Dental cement or sugarless gum can be used to smooth out these edges.
- Visit a dentist: Regardless of how minor the damage to a chipped tooth is, it still needs to be treated by a dentist. Parts of a tooth being chipped leaves the inner layers exposed to bacteria and acids in the mouth. This can lead to decay or the tooth becoming infected.
How a general dentist fixes chipped teeth
General dentists have a few options at their disposal when it comes to fixing chipped teeth. Some of the popular options include:
- Composite bonding: This involves applying a composite resin to the damaged tooth and molding it as desired. The composite can be color-matched with the rest of the patient's teeth so any restorations made look natural.
- Veneers: These thin shells go over the front part of teeth, hiding any imperfections on them. Veneers can be used to fix a chipped tooth if the damage to the tooth is mostly in front.
- Crowns: These are the standard way to treat severely chipped or broken teeth. Also called caps, these restorations cover up the visible part of a tooth, and they protect it from irritants like bacteria and bite forces. A crown restores the appearance of a tooth and its bite function as well.
- Root canal: This is usually performed if the damage leaves the tooth's pulp chamber compromised, making it more vulnerable to infection. A root canal involves removing the content of the pulp chamber, disinfecting it and sealing the area up with filling.
Get your chipped tooth fixed
Call or visit our Stoughton clinic if you are dealing with a chipped tooth. Our dentist will educate you about your options.
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