Chipping a tooth can be a startling and often painful experience. Whether it occurs from an accident, while eating, or during a sporting event, it’s important to know the immediate steps to take to minimize pain and prevent further damage. This guide by DiGrazia Dentistry in Reno, NV, will help you understand what to do if you find yourself or someone else in this common dental predicament.

Assess the Damage

Immediately after you realize a tooth is chipped, it’s crucial to assess the severity of the chip. Minor chips may not cause pain, but larger fractures can lead to significant discomfort and even bleeding. Handle the situation with care:

Check for Pain and Sensitivity

If the chip is large enough to cause pain or sensitivity to temperature and touch, it’s a sign that the damage may be significant. These symptoms can indicate that the inner layers of the tooth, which contain nerves and blood vessels, are involved.

Look for Sharp Edges

Feel around the chipped area with your tongue to check for sharp edges. Sharp edges can cause cuts to your tongue or cheek and should be addressed promptly.

Protect the Tooth and Reduce Pain

Once you’ve assessed the damage, take the following steps to protect the tooth and reduce any pain:

Rinse Your Mouth

Use warm water to rinse your mouth gently. This can clean the area and remove any debris that might be lodged around the chipped tooth.

Apply Cold Compresses

If there is swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of your face near the damaged tooth. This helps reduce swelling and numbs mild pain.

Cover Sharp Edges

If you can’t see a dentist immediately and the tooth has sharp edges, cover them with a piece of sugarless chewing gum or dental wax to protect your tongue and cheeks from cuts.

Contact Your Dentist Immediately

Contacting a dentist as soon as possible after chipping a tooth is crucial. Even if the chip seems minor, it can lead to bigger issues if not treated properly. Until you can have the damage properly examined, you can discuss temporary solutions with your dentist.

Schedule an Emergency Visit

DiGrazia Dentistry in Reno, NV, offers emergency dental services. It’s essential to have a chipped tooth examined by a professional to avoid complications such as infection or further damage to the tooth.

Treatment Options for Chipped Teeth

The treatment for a chipped tooth depends on the severity of the chip. Here are some common treatments:

Dental Filling or Bonding

For small chips, a dental filling or bonding with a tooth-colored resin may be enough to restore the tooth’s shape and function.

Dental Crowns or Veneers

Larger chips that affect a significant part of the tooth may require a crown or veneer to fully restore the tooth’s appearance and functionality. At DiGrazia Dentistry, we recommend our porcelain veneers for a flawless, natural-looking repair. 

Root Canal Therapy

If the chip is large enough to expose the pulp, root canal therapy followed by a crown might be necessary to preserve the tooth and prevent infection.

Prevention Tips to Avoid Future Chips

Preventing future dental injuries is just as important as knowing how to handle them. Here are some tips to keep your teeth safe:

  • Wear Mouthguards: If you participate in sports, wearing a mouthguard can help protect your teeth from injury.
  • Avoid Hard Foods: Hard candies, popcorn kernels, and ice can be risky for your teeth. Avoid chewing on these as they are common culprits for chipping teeth.
  • Practice Good Dental Hygiene: Strong, healthy teeth are less likely to chip. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss regularly, and visit DiGrazia Dentistry for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Contact DiGrazia Dentistry in Reno, NV For Chipped Tooth Repair

Knowing what to do if you chip a tooth can help prevent further damage and ensure a faster, more effective recovery. Always have your dentist’s contact information handy for quick access in emergencies, and remember, prompt treatment is the key to saving a chipped tooth. At DiGrazia Dentistry in Reno, NV, we’re here to help restore your smile and ensure your teeth remain healthy and strong. Contact our office if you find yourself with a chipped tooth!