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What to Do If You Have a Chipped Tooth
Even though your teeth are strong, they can be chipped or broken in a variety of ways. The damage could occur when you bite down on something hard, get hit in the face while playing sports, because of cavities or from a simple fall.
When you have a chipped or broken tooth, there is no reason to panic. However, you should schedule an appointment to see the dentist as soon as possible.
Dealing with a chipped tooth
While you are waiting to see the dentist, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain.
Rinse your mouth with warm water
When you chip your tooth, the first thing you need to do is rinse out your mouth to make sure there are no loose remnants of the tooth left in your mouth. Since the tooth will likely be sensitive to cold and hot water, you should rinse with warm water.
Stop the bleeding
When your tooth gets chipped, there may be blood if the tooth punctures your skin at the point of impact. After you rinse out your mouth, stop the bleeding by applying gauze on the affected area until the bleeding stops.
Reduce the swelling
The tooth puncturing your skin will lead to swelling at the point of impact, which can be painful. You can reduce the swelling by applying an ice pack to the swollen part of your face until the swelling subsides.
Cover the tooth
Leaving the chipped tooth exposed, especially when there is nerve damage, can be painful, especially when you try to eat or drink. You can protect the nerve from exposure by using dental cement to cover up the exposed part until you see your dentist. You can find dental cement at your local pharmacy or drugstore.
If you are in pain because of the chipped tooth, you should take over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin to reduce the amount of pain you are in.
What to expect from the dentist
When you get to see your dentist to fix the chipped tooth, they will recommend a few procedures to fix the damage, depending on the severity. Procedures used to fix a chipped tooth include:
This is used for small chips and is the least invasive procedure used to fix a chipped tooth. The process involves molding a composite material over the healthy part of the tooth to cover up the chip.
Veneers are used if the damage to the tooth is more severe. Porcelain veneers, which are wafer thin, are fitted over your natural tooth to hide the damage done to the tooth while giving you a natural look.
Crowns are used for the more serious cases where most of the tooth has been lost, especially if the damaged tooth is in the back of your mouth. They protect the remaining tooth from further damage while restoring your smile.
These are used when the damage to your tooth is too much to fix. Your dentist will recommend extracting the remaining tooth and getting implants to replace the missing tooth. Like veneers and crowns, the implants can be matched to the color of your natural teeth, making it difficult to notice that they are not real.
Having a chipped tooth can be painful, but the pain can be minimized and your smile can be restored if you use these tips and schedule an appointment with your dentist to fix the damage.
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