It’s all fun and games until someone ends up with a chipped tooth. How many times have you heard that from either your mom or dad — or both? Now, if you’re a parent, you might be saying those same words to your children.
Chipped teeth are quite common, for adults and children alike, and they’re notably easy to achieve. In fact, it only requires a little bit of contact, the right angle, and no small amount of bad luck for practically anyone to chip a tooth.
Crest reports the following to be among common causes of chipped teeth:
Other potential causes include:
This means while they are bothersome, they are dental problems that our cosmetic dentists at AZ Family Dentist have a depth of experience in performing.
The other remarkable thing is that because they are so common, there have been many advances in treatment options over the years. A chipped tooth today can be repaired to the point that it is almost impossible to tell a chip ever existed.
Below you will find a few key details to help you deal with a chipped tooth effectively when the situation calls for it.
Chipped teeth mean different things for different people depending on your ability to tolerate pain and how quickly you respond to the chipped tooth by seeking the appropriate care from our Glendale dentist.
While chipped teeth aren’t necessarily medical emergencies by themselves, they can be cause for concern and should be monitored by our dental professional as quickly after the incident as possible. If your chip is large enough to expose a nerve, the pain of the chipped tooth may be enough to encourage you to seek prompt medical attention. Ignoring a chipped tooth could result in damage to your enamel, tooth sensitivity, and pain. More importantly, when your tooth is broken, the nerve is less protected from bacteria in the mouth, which increases your risk of infection.
If not treated, a chipped tooth can lead to:
The size of your chip plays a role in the type of dental procedure you’ll need and the damage that can occur to your tooth.
For some residents in Glendale, a chipped tooth only represents an aesthetic dentistry problem. This is usually the case with a minuscule chip in the tooth — one that is not large enough to do damage to the enamel or the sensitive layers beneath your enamel.
If the chip is tiny, our dentist might be able to use a polishing instrument to remove all appearances of the chip and smooth out any rough edges that may remain. Bonding is another option in which our dentist applies materials to the surface of your tooth that help to maintain the structure and appearance of the tooth. Porcelain veneers are another option for chipped teeth.
Just because your chip is small doesn’t mean there is no risk or that you shouldn’t seek dental care in response to your chipped tooth. Getting help, no matter how small the chip happens to be, means you don’t need to be worried about infections and other problems related to the chip. It also means you can preserve the beauty and integrity of your smile, which may be a bigger burden off your shoulders, especially if the chip is located on one of your front teeth.
If your chip is medium-sized, or large enough to damage some of the layers beneath the enamel, it can pose a risk to your health and the health of your tooth. This is especially the case if you do not seek professional dental care for a chipped tooth quickly enough after the chip occurs.
It only takes a tiny amount of pulp to be exposed for infections to become a likely outcome. This is why it is so critical to see our dentist quickly after the chip occurs. Not only can you avoid infections by seeing our dentist, but you can also deal with the demands of a larger chip to avoid much of the pain these chips commonly cause.
Our dentist can easily repair medium-sized chips — especially if you act swiftly to save the chipped part of the tooth and get in to see our dentist within 24 hours whenever possible. If you cannot find the piece of tooth that was chipped away, hope is not lost. There are other options, including crowns and veneers.
Failing to get prompt treatment once you’ve chipped your tooth, however, can result in a dental infection that can cause substantial pain. Depending on the severity of damage to your tooth, it can result in the need for a root canal.
Large chips often present the biggest potential problems. Aesthetically, they are the most noticeable. This often means you want to tend to them quickly, which is a good thing as they also present the greatest potential for an exposed nerve and potentially excruciating pain.
The key is to get prompt attention from a qualified dental professional. This allows you to receive fast attention and relief from the pain while also helping to increase the likelihood that you can preserve the look of your smile — even if a root canal and crown are required.
In some cases, if the chip is left unattended, it will spread to create a situation in which the tooth cannot be saved — yet another reason to see our dentist promptly whenever a large chip occurs. In these cases, extraction is the only option remaining.
Regardless of whether your tooth is broken or chipped, you should visit us here at AZ Family Dentist. Treatment for either situation depends on how severely your tooth is damaged. If your tooth is chipped and only a small portion of enamel is broken off, your chipped tooth repair can be completed with a dental filling or bonding in one visit to our office.
On the other hand, if you have a broken tooth, we will need to file part of the remaining tooth, and then cover it with a tooth-colored crown. In some broken tooth cases, you may need root canal therapy before your crown placement. Getting a crown typical requires two appointments.
Keep in mind that if your tooth is bleeding, whether chipped or broken, you need to be seen right away. If a small piece chipped off without evidence of bleeding, it’s not an emergency and you can call our office to make an appointment.
Really and truly, you’ve been through the hard part already. Chipping the tooth can be the most difficult and painful part of the process. If you’re thinking, “I just chipped a tooth, and I have no idea what to do next,” then you’re in the right place to learn about your options.
If you have chipped a tooth, these are the first things to do:
The next question that comes to mind for many parents relates to baby teeth. You may very well find yourself in this situation more than once as a parent.
Every little emergency or uncertainty in life is amplified when it involves your children. Your child will likely be concerned, if not frightened that they chipped one of their teeth. The number one rule of thumb to follow when dealing with a child’s chipped tooth is to remain calm. Not only will it help you to have a clear head, but it will also help your child keep from panicking.
For the most part, a chipped tooth with a child is less of a concern if your child still has baby teeth. Handling a chipped baby tooth for children is much like handling one for adults, though. You will want to follow the same steps mentioned above: warm water rinses, stop the bleeding with gauze, and reduce swelling, relieve the pain, protect the tooth, cheeks, and tongue, etc.
You also want to make an appointment as quickly as possible so our dentist can determine if further action is necessary. It is always in your best interests to err on the side of caution when it comes to your child’s oral health.
We mentioned the treatment options for chipped teeth above, briefly. This section explains a little more about each of the options commonly used to treat chipped teeth:
A chipped tooth, while it can be disconcerting, and even uncomfortable, is not necessarily the end of your good dental health. However, prompt attention is the real secret to success when it comes to preserving the beauty of your smile and sparing yourself no small degree of pain. Your number one priority is to preserve your tooth and prevent your condition from worsening.
Call us here at AZ Family Dental at 623-939-6574 whenever you experience a chipped tooth in the Glendale, Phoenix, or Peoria area to schedule an emergency procedure and get the swift treatment your smile warrants and deserves. You’ll appreciate the relief that leaving your chipped tooth in our experienced, qualified, and gentle dental professional hands provide.