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Chipped a tooth? Here’s what you should do

12th November 2018

It’s all fun and games, until someone chips a tooth. Chipped teeth are quite common and they’re notably easy to achieve, for example by hitting your mouth when falling, sports injury, grinding teeth, biting into hard objects, teeth weakened by cavities etc.

If you do chip a tooth, first of all don’t panic. Like we said cracks and chips are very common and most often not serious. The first thing to do is to book an appointment with us as soon as you can; we make every effort to see emergency patients within 24 hours. Meanwhile:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm, salt water to relieve pain and help to prevent infection.
  • To stop any bleeding, apply pressure with clean gauze.
  • Place an ice pack on your face where the chipped tooth is to reduce swelling.
  • Apply dental wax over sharp areas to protect your tongue and cheeks.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication, if needed.
  • Consume only liquids and soft foods.

How we treat chipped teeth

Before we decide on the course of action, we will first inspect the tooth and the damage to it and check that no decay is present. If it is, a filling will be necessary before any restorative treatment.

There are a number of different ways that we can treat a chipped tooth. Most common and straightforward is using cosmetic bonding to re-shape the affected tooth. This is non invasive and doesn’t hurt a bit! However, if the damage to your tooth is extensive, it may require a crown to help prevent further damage, or even a veneer if there are multiple chips on the same tooth surface. If an injury causes extensive damage to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be required to clean out the inside of the tooth and seal the area.


Leave it to the professionals

Although relatively rare, we have heard tales of some people attempting to smooth off any rough tooth edges themselves, using a nail file. Doing this will cause further damage to your teeth and can exaggerate the problem, so please avoid any DIY and come see us instead!

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