Restorative Dentistry in Olathe, Kansas, Gives Back Your Stunning Smile
A chipped tooth is a common dental injury in which a piece of your tooth enamel breaks off. It can create the appearance of uneven teeth shape and even cause pain if left untreated.
A small chip – one that affects only the edge of your tooth for example – is relatively minor. But the larger the chip, the more likely you are to develop complications and the greater the likelihood that people will notice the imperfection in your teeth.
Keep reading to learn what you should do if you chip your tooth and how advanced dental care and restorative dentistry can make your smile as good as new.
What Causes a Permanent Tooth to Chip?
Permanent teeth can chip for a variety of reasons, but most commonly, they occur when your teeth come in contact with a hard object. This can happen if you fall and hit your mouth in the process, or if you bite into something too hard while eating. Sports injuries, car wrecks, and other accidents can cause your teeth to chip, as can bruxism – known more commonly as teeth grinding – or poor nutrition.
Why Do I Need to Seek Oral Services for My Chipped Tooth?
Depending on how your tooth chips, you can begin to experience nerve pain, enamel damage, and increased sensitivity to heat and cold. A nerve that is exposed to bacteria can increase your risk of getting an oral infection. This puts you at risk of tooth loss or a painful abscess.
Above all, many people choose cosmetic dentistry services to fix the smile imperfection that a chipped tooth can cause. Doing so increases their confidence and restores their smile.
What Do I Do If I Chip My Tooth?
If you realize you’ve chipped one of your permanent teeth, you can take steps to help your mouth feel better while you wait for cosmetic dentistry services.
First, rinse your mouth with warm water. This can rinse irritants away from the tooth and gums and soothe pain. Later, an ice pack can reduce swelling.
Next, if applicable, stop the bleeding. You can do this by applying pressure and a piece of clean gauze to the injured area.
Still in pain? That’s common. Ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce swelling and help you feel better. Certain medications may thin your blood, so be aware that your injured tooth and gum may bleed more after ingesting medication. If your chipped tooth is scraping against your tongue or cheeks, you can use a bit of dental wax to smooth out the edge.
Save the chip, if possible. If you are able to find it, preserve the chip in milk or saliva so it doesn’t dry out and bring it to the dentist when you come for your emergency appointment. In some cases, an experienced dentist can reattach the chip. But if you can’t save it, don’t worry. It’s 2022, and we have lots of cosmetic dentistry solutions to restore your smile.
Visit your dentist quickly! It’s ideal to get into the office within a few hours of the chip occurring, but you don’t want to simply walk in unannounced. Call ahead to your dentist’s office to learn what your next steps should be.
Advanced Dental Care for Chipped Permanent Teeth
In most cases, a chipped tooth can be repaired relatively easily and quickly. Cosmetic dentistry services performed in-office provide results that are so seamless, no one would ever know you damaged your pearly whites!
For example, your dentist may perform one of the following to restore your smile.
- Bonding and contouring. This is a process that involves applying a composite resin to the tooth and shaping it to mimic your tooth’s original look. Bonding can last about 10 years and is an aesthetically pleasing, fast, affordable cosmetic dentistry solution.
- Dental crown or cap. Placed over the damaged tooth, a dental crown looks exactly like your original, but protects the damaged tooth. A crown is applied after a root canal is performed, which is necessary if your chipped tooth has developed an infection at the exposed nerve.
- Tooth extraction and dental implant. If your tooth is so badly chipped that it has reached below the gumline, then a tooth extraction may be necessary. After your damaged tooth is extracted, you’ll let the socket heal, before a titanium rod is implanted into your jaw bone and topped with a false tooth. This is a permanent solution to tooth loss.
- Porcelain veneers. Perhaps one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures, veneers are how celebrities get those perfectly straight, uniform teeth, seemingly overnight. But porcelain veneers also can be used for restoration of a chipped tooth. During the procedure, your dentist will bond a thin piece of custom-shaped porcelain to the surface of your chipped tooth. The veneer mimics the look of your natural teeth and resists stains.
Build a Relationship with a Local Dentist by Scheduling a Dental Exam
Take care of your teeth and help prevent damage to them by regularly visiting a dentist in your area for a dental exam and cleaning at least twice per year. By building a relationship with a dentist, you’re more likely to be accommodated in the event of an oral emergency, such as a chipped tooth.
If you’re in the Kansas City area, choose the dental practice with years of experience providing exceptional care: E-Care Dentistry in Olathe. Request an appointment online, or call us at (913) 586-2718.