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Broken or Chipped Teeth

Q: I think I might have just broken or chipped a tooth. What should I do?

A: If you have recently broken or chipped a tooth, whether because of an injury or during a simple meal, don’t panic. Instead, follow these simple steps to preserve your tooth, minimize pain, and restore your oral health.

First, rinse your mouth out with warm water or with a salt-water. Do the same with your tooth fragment, if possible. You should also keep your tooth fragment in a safe place, where it will stay clean, and remember to bring it with you to the dentist. Once you have done that, take a simple over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil or whatever else you would normally take if you had a headache to help you minimize any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing. To combat swelling, apply a cold compress to the affected area. If you are experiencing any bleeding, apply light pressure to the area with a small amount of gauze or a clean cloth until all bleeding has stopped.

After you have taken these steps, the most important thing you can do is contact your regular dentist or one of our emergency dental offices. A broken or chipped tooth is a dental emergency and should be cared for immediately. By putting off dental treatment, you increase the risk that your tooth could become infected, or that another problem might develop as a result. By seeking care immediately, you increase your chances of saving your tooth instead of losing it and preserving your oral health

When you arrive for an emergency dental visit, the first thing you can expect from us is a comprehensive oral exam, and not just of the affected area but of your entire smile, too. We want to have a complete understanding of your current dental health as well as your complete medical history. Then, once we know how you and your smile are doing, we can begin working on a treatment plan. Depending on how much of your tooth you have lost, a different treatment may be needed. In some cases, it may be possible for our dentist to repair your tooth in just one visit with cosmetic bonding or with a dental filling. But in other cases, treatment may require more than one visit. This is especially the case if a crown or porcelain veneers are needed to complete your treatment. If you are being treated with a crown or porcelain veneers, your procedure will take at least two visits to fully complete. However, steps can be taken immediately to help you prevent an infection from developing.

Has a recent accident, injury, or simply the act of chewing resulted in a cracked or broken tooth? Don’t wait to get in touch with your regular dentist or with one of our emergency dental centers. A chipped or broken tooth needs to be treated immediately to prevent an infection from developing. With immediate treatment, we can help you identify exactly what kind of help you need so you can enjoy a restore smile again.


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