What Should I Do If I Chip My Tooth Santa Barbara, CA
There are many reasons why a chipped tooth can occur, from an accident to merely chewing. If a chipped tooth occurs, professional dental care is necessary to receive proper evaluation and treatment. It is essential to seek prompt treatment to prevent the problem from worsening.
If you have a chipped tooth, do not hesitate to seek treatment. Julie A. Hemingway, D.D.S. in Santa Barbara and the surrounding area is here to help. Call us today at (805) 409-2358 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Chipped Teeth Are Common
A chipped tooth is a common dental injury. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for a majority of dental injuries. Although a chipped tooth can induce panic and anxiety, it is typically a mild problem that we can fix through various methods.
People should remain calm so they can take the proper steps to fix this problem. The best thing for patients to do after chipping a tooth is to focus on their breath and slow it down. While not all chipped teeth will require treatment, patients should visit our dentist to ensure that they receive the necessary treatment to restore and protect their teeth.
“According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for a majority of dental injuries.”
What To Do About a Chipped Tooth
People suffering from a chipped tooth should schedule a dental appointment since professional treatment is the only way to fix it permanently. It is important to immediately take certain steps after chipping a tooth to address pain and protect the tooth and inside of the mouth from further injury. According to the American Dental Association, people should rinse their mouth with warm water right away to clean it.
After rinsing, they should apply pressure to stop any bleeding and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. People should be sure to save any pieces of the chipped tooth and wrap them in wet gauze to bring to our dentist. While waiting to see our dentist, people can use over-the-counter pain medication to manage pain and discomfort.
“It is important to immediately take certain steps after chipping a tooth to address pain and protect the tooth and inside of the mouth from further injury.”
Chipped Tooth in a Child vs. Adult
Although chipping a tooth is common for both adults and children, there are different concerns for each. Chipped primary teeth are especially common in children. We recommend treatments to repair the damaged tooth based on the patient’s age and how badly the tooth is injured.
When treating chipped primary teeth in children, the main concern is to prevent damage to the underlying permanent tooth. Unlike an adult, a child’s permanent teeth are not fully developed and will require immediate attention if a chip occurs. Regardless of whether the chipped tooth occurs in a child or adult, it is important to see our dentist as quickly as possible for treatment.
“When treating chipped primary teeth in children, the main concern is to prevent damage to the underlying permanent tooth.”
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Repairing a Chipped Tooth
There are various methods to repair a chipped tooth, depending on the state of the patient’s tooth and the type of injury. In some cases, our dentist can reattach the broken piece of a tooth. If the damage is minimal, our dentist may only need to use cosmetic contouring to polish the tooth’s surface or smooth a jagged edge. Other options include veneers to cover a chip or dental bonding to fill in missing tooth structure.
Chips that go below the tooth’s surface may require more extensive repair, such as a root canal or extraction. A root canal is necessary when the damage enters the pulp and infects it. Extraction is the last resort when a root canal is not enough to save a tooth. Patients should contact us to find out what repair options are available.
“There are various methods to repair a chipped tooth, depending on the state of the patient’s tooth and the type of injury.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
Maintaining a Treated Chipped Tooth
After treatment for a chipped tooth, patients must maintain a regular oral care routine. This maintenance includes brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. Patients should also follow all after-care instructions to take care of the repaired tooth and protect it from further damage.
Other maintenance tips include not biting down on the treated tooth and refining from chewing on hard foods and objects. Following the repair, patients should also attend all follow-up appointments and schedule regular dental check-ups. These appointments will allow our dentist to check the repair and protect patients’ overall oral health to prevent a chip from happening again.
“After treatment for a chipped tooth, patients must maintain a regular oral care routine.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How is a chipped tooth diagnosed?
A. Our dentist can diagnose a chipped tooth by visibly inspecting the patient’s mouth. They will also ask about any symptoms and the event that may have caused the chip. Sometimes determining the extent of the damage can be difficult and may require the use of magnifying glasses, X-rays, or other tests.
Q. How long does it take to repair a chipped tooth?
A. The length of time it takes to repair a chip will depend on the extent of damage to the tooth. Our dentist will tell the patient how long they can expect their treatment to take during their consultation. In most cases, it only takes one office visit to fix a chipped tooth.
Q. Who is a good candidate for cosmetic contouring?
A. Cosmetic contouring is best for people with minor cosmetic problems like small chips. The patient’s enamel needs to be thick enough since cosmetic contouring removes one to two millimeters of enamel from the tooth’s surface. If the patient’s enamel is too thin, then we may suggest a different repair method.
Q. What are the risk factors associated with a chipped tooth?
A. Weakened teeth are more likely to chip than strong and healthy ones. Tooth decay and cavities are common factors that reduce tooth strength and make chips more likely to occur. Teeth grinding, eating acid-producing foods, and acid reflux can damage the tooth enamel and weaken it.
Q. How is a veneer applied?
A. First, our dentist will take a mold of the patient’s tooth to create the veneer. Then we will clean the patent’s tooth and use dental cement to bond the veneer to the tooth. An ultraviolet light hardens the cement quickly, and the patient can leave the office with their improved smile.
Dental Emergency Terminology
- Facial Cellulitis
- Facial cellulitis is a condition in which an infection from an abscess or plaque in the teeth causes pain and spreads throughout the face.
- Irreversible Pulpitis
- Irreversible pulpitis is when the pain in the tooth occurs spontaneously or continues to hurt after the patient removes the hot/cold substance that was causing pain. Normal pulpitis will cease hurting directly after removing what is causing the pain.
- Pericoronitis is the inflammation of soft tissues surrounding a tooth that does not fully erupt from the gums and causes pain.
- Tooth Avulsion
- Tooth avulsion is when the tooth completely displaces from the socket due to an accident or other health issues. We can replant the tooth if the patient seeks immediate care.
Call Us Today
If you have a chipped tooth, do not panic. Our team at Julie A. Hemingway, D.D.S. can help restore a chipped tooth’s function and appearance. Call us today at 805-409-2358 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Clinical Terms. 2022
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2022
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2022
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- Julie A. Hemingway, D.D.S. was established in 1964.
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