What to do for a Chipped Tooth

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You’re having fun in the sun, laughing, smiling, and horsing around when the unfortunate happens:  you fall and chip your tooth!  Your teeth are strong, but they can chip off and crack by accident.  Any damaged tooth should be dealt with ASAP because untreated damage could lead to tooth loss, nerve damage, and significant pain. Here is a list of what you should do when you chip a tooth:

  • Save the chipped part if possible.  If you can, find the chipped part of your tooth and store it in a clean container.  It is preferable to store the tooth in milk.  Saliva would be the next best option.
  • Call us.  Let us know you’re coming in RIGHT AWAY, Tell us how you chipped your tooth, which tooth is chipped, if you still have the chipped off piece. The more information you give us the better.
  • Rinse your mouth.  You want to make sure your mouth is clean, so gently swish warm salt water.  Your tooth is going to be very sensitive, so be gentle with it.
  • Oh no!  I’m bleeding!  Don’t panic. Work on stopping the bleeding by staunching the blood flow with a small piece of gauze for 10 minutes.  If you’re still bleeding after 10 minutes of using gauze, then swish some cold water in your mouth.  The cold temperature helps contract the blood vessels in your mouth.  Careful, though – the cold water may make the broken tooth sensitive.
  • Flat Tire!  Traffic Jam!  Trapped in the mountains!  If you can’t get to us right away, you can temporarily seal a chipped tooth with a piece of paraffin wax or sugar-free gum.  This will help keep the break clean.  We also may be able to refer to a nearby dentist to manage your emergency, if you are out of town, just give us a call.

The key is to remain calm and schedule a dental visit as soon as possible.  Once you’re here, we’ll take care of you.  There are a few different ways we can help, such as using crowns to repair your chipped tooth or bonding your chipped tooth back together.  We won’t be able to say for sure until it we see you and assess the situation.

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