A chipped tooth can be a surprising and painful event. Sometimes you might chip your tooth in an accident, such as a fall or being hit by an object at work. Sports are a common source of accidents that lead to chipped teeth, which is why athletic mouthguards are recommended. Other times, you may not be doing anything other than eating and you bite down on something unexpectedly hard, and suddenly you’ve lost a piece of your tooth. When this happens we worry about possible bite problems.
Here’s how to respond to a chipped tooth.
Immediately after The Chip
Right after you chip your tooth, try to get all the pieces of tooth out of your mouth so you don’t accidentally swallow them.
Next, contact your dentist. Describe the injury, including the circumstances and the extent of your discomfort, as accurately as possible so your dentist will know to try to get you in for an emergency meeting.
Dr. Polley always tries to get people with a chipped tooth in as soon as possible, but not all dentists will do this. If you can’t get in right away, you can cover the sharp part of the chipped tooth with paraffin wax or sugar-free chewing gum. There are temporary repair products at drug stores that seem to be a short term solution but these are usually very disappointing and are a waste of money. If the exposed, broken part of the tooth is real sensitive to cool air or cold drinks, we can quickly cover the area temporarily to make it comfortable until it can be restored correctly.
How We Will Restore Your Chipped Tooth
Reconstructive dentistry offers many options for fixing your chipped tooth.
If the chip is very minor, you might not even be able to see it, though you can likely feel it with your tongue or cheeks. In this case, we will just polish the tooth smooth.
If you have a tooth that is visibly chipped, and you have the chip handy, we might try to cement the chip in place.
More commonly, we will recommend dental bonding, which is when we use the material that is commonly employed as tooth-colored fillings to restore the chip. This is a good option–it gives attractive results, can last for several years, and can be completed in a single visit.
Another option for restoring a chipped tooth is a porcelain veneer, which can be placed over the chipped tooth. This gives even more attractive results, can last a decade or more, and can also be completed in a single visit, thanks to our CEREC system.
For Serious Broken Teeth
Sometimes, you did more than chip your tooth. If you actually cracked your tooth open in a way that it’s no longer structurally sound, we will need to give it both protection and support using a dental crown.
We will talk to you about the severity of damage to your tooth and recommend the best treatment for you.
If you have suffered a chipped tooth or other dental injury requiring reconstructive dentistry in Las Vegas, please contact Dr. James B. Polley today.