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Dental injuries can happen to anyone, but it’s important to know what to do if a dental emergency like a chipped tooth occurs. If you chip your tooth while eating hard food or as the result of dental trauma, contact an emergency dentist immediately. 

Any dental emergency or injury to the mouth should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist at Dapto Dental can help you understand how to fix a chipped tooth and recommend a treatment plan to restore your smile. 

 

How to Fix a Chipped Tooth?

A tooth can be chipped in several ways, such as from a blow to the face to tooth grinding. While a small chip may not require more than a consultation with your emergency dentist, a more serious chip that exposes the dentin or pulp should be thoroughly checked.

If you have chipped a tooth and are unable to get to your emergency dentist right away, here are some steps on how to fix a chipped tooth at home:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to remove debris or blood from your mouth and prevent infection and bacterial growth.
  • If there is bleeding, apply pressure by placing gauze between your teeth and carefully biting down. 
  • Apply a cold compress to your face over the affected tooth to reduce swelling, numb the site to ease discomfort, and slow any bleeding.
  • Place dental wax or sugar-free gum over the rough edges of the chip. This will protect the tongue and the inside of the cheeks from abrasions. 

 

Treating a Chipped Tooth

If you have a chipped tooth causing severe discomfort, it is likely a dental emergency, and you should contact your dentist immediately. Your dentist will examine your teeth and may perform X-rays or scans to determine if the damage is more severe than a surface-level chip. There are several treatment options available to restore a chipped tooth. 

 

 

Dental bonding

For a minor chip, your dentist may prescribe dental bonding. After applying a local anaesthetic, your dentist shapes the chip to remove debris and rough edges. Then, they apply a chemical roughening agent to enable the composite to adhere more securely. Your dentist applies thin layers of tooth-coloured composite resin to the chip, curing each layer with a specialised light. They then shape and polish the tooth to ensure it looks natural.

 

Root canal therapy

If the assessment shows deeper trauma that has affected the pulp, you may need a root canal to save your tooth from extraction. A root canal involves opening the tooth’s crown, removing the damaged pulp, including the nerves and blood vessels, disinfecting the pulp chamber, and sealing it with gutta-percha. The tooth is restored using a filling or a dental crown. 

 

Dental veneers

Veneers are tooth-coloured shells placed over the front of the tooth to disguise cosmetic flaws. They are suitable for teeth with multiple shallow chips or teeth that are discoloured due to dental trauma. 

After removing approximately 0.5mm of enamel, your dentist takes impressions to send to an off-site lab where your veneers are fabricated. At a second appointment, your dentist cements the customised veneers in place. 

 

Preventing a Dental Emergency

tooth chip dental emergency daptoWhile learning how to fix a chipped tooth at home is important during a dental emergency, preventing chips is a better way to protect your oral health. Avoiding every accident is impossible, but precautions can mean the difference between minor and major damage. 

A fitted mouthguard made for you by your dentist helps spread and absorb impact from a blow to the face during high-risk activities, such as biking, climbing, or sports.

Don’t use your teeth as tools for opening things. Doing this can cause dental trauma like chips, cracks, or even broken teeth.

 

Visit an Emergency Dentist Near You

Dapto Dentists reserve time throughout their day specifically for dental emergency appointments. Our experienced dental professionals are dedicated to bringing you the best possible care and providing you with a full range of dental services. Call us now on (02) 4210 9058.

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

 

 

 

 

References

Dental trauma
https://www.teeth.org.au/dental-trauma

Cracked teeth
https://www.teeth.org.au/cracked-teeth

What to Do If You Chip or Break a Tooth
https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-fix-a-chipped-tooth

Dental injury
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-injury

Bonding
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bonding

Top 9 Foods That Damage Your Teeth
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-foods-that-damage-your-teeth

 

 

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