Chipped Tooth Emergency: How to Save and Fix It

Whether it's due to an accidental fall, biting into something hard, or another unforeseen circumstance, knowing the immediate steps to take can make a significant difference.

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A chipped tooth can be a distressing experience, causing discomfort and worry about your appearance and oral health. Knowing the steps to take immediately after chipping a tooth can make a significant difference, whether it's due to an accidental fall, biting into something hard, or any other unforeseen circumstance. This guide will provide detailed information on what to do next, how to fix a chipped tooth, the potential treatments available, and how to prevent future dental injuries through general dentistry. Wondering, “I have a small chip in my tooth; should I go to the dentist?” Read this piece to know!

Chipped Tooth Repair: Immediate Steps To Take

When you chip a tooth, acting quickly can help reduce pain, prevent further damage, and increase the chances of a successful chipped tooth repair.

Rinse Your Mouth

The first step is to rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and remove any debris. This can help prevent infection and make it easier to assess the damage.

Manage Pain and Swelling

What does a chipped tooth feel like? It can be uncomfortable and sharp to the touch. To manage pain and reduce swelling, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek near the affected area. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can also help alleviate discomfort.

Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks

How to protect a chipped tooth? Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods, as well as very hot or cold beverages, which can exacerbate pain and cause further damage to the tooth. Stick to soft foods and drink lukewarm water until you can see a dentist.

When to See a Dentist and What to Do About a Chipped Tooth?

It is crucial to consult a dentist as soon as possible after breaking a tooth to prevent complications, receive appropriate treatment, and realize how much to fix a chipped tooth in your case.

Signs That Require Immediate Attention

What to do about a chipped tooth? Seek immediate dental attention if you experience severe pain, bleeding, or if the chip is large and affects the tooth's structure. These symptoms can indicate a more serious injury that requires prompt intervention.

Preparing for Your Dental Appointment

If you have a chipped tooth and are thinking about what to do now, write down any symptoms you are experiencing before your dental appointment and the circumstances that led to the chipped tooth. This information can help your dentist determine the best course of action.

Treatment Options: How Do Dentists Fix a Chipped Tooth?

The treatment for a broken tooth depends on the severity of the damage. Your dentist will recommend the most suitable option based on the size and location of the chip. Thus, how do they commonly fix a chipped tooth?

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a quick and effective solution for minor chips. How do dentists fix a chipped tooth? The dentist uses tooth-colored resin to fill in the chipped area and shape it to match the natural tooth. This is a common method for chipping teeth.

Dental Veneers

Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin covering a tooth's front surface. They are an excellent option for more extensive chips and can improve the appearance and function of the affected tooth, especially for a chipped front tooth.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown may be necessary if a significant portion of the tooth is chipped. How long does it take to fix a chipped tooth with crowns? Crowns are caps that cover the entire tooth, providing strength and protection while restoring its shape and appearance. The process typically takes two visits to your dentist. The first appointment involves preparing the tooth and taking an impression, which usually lasts about an hour. The second visit for placing the permanent crown generally takes about 30 minutes to an hour. In total, it can take 2-3 weeks from start to finish, including the time needed to fabricate the crown.

Root Canal Therapy

In cases where the chip exposes the tooth's pulp, a root canal may be required to remove the damaged tissue and prevent infection. After the root canal, a crown is usually placed to restore the tooth.

How long does it take for a chipped tooth to heal? The healing time for a chipped tooth depends on the severity of the chip and the type of treatment received. Minor chips that only affect the enamel can often be repaired with dental bonding in a single visit, and you can resume normal activities immediately. More significant chips that require veneers or crowns may take 2-3 weeks to fully treat, including the time needed to fabricate and place the restoration. 

Avoiding Risks of Chipped Tooth

Avoid chewing on hard foods or objects and practice good oral hygiene to save your teeth.

Taking preventive measures can reduce the risk of chipping a tooth in the future. So how to save a chipped tooth?

Use a Mouthguard. Wearing a mouthguard during sports or other high-risk activities can protect your teeth from injury. Custom-fitted mouthguards provide the best protection and comfort.

Avoid Hard Foods and Objects. Be mindful of what you eat, and avoid biting down on hard foods like ice, nuts, or hard candies. Additionally, never use your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles. This can cause the chipping of a tooth.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene. Good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly, help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Regular dental check-ups can also detect any potential issues before they become serious.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Chipped Tooth?

The cost of fixing a chipped tooth can vary widely depending on the severity of the damage, the type of treatment required, and whether you have dental insurance. How much does it cost to fix a chipped tooth?

  • Dental Bonding: $100 to $400 per tooth. This is often the most affordable option and is suitable for minor chips.
  • Dental Veneers: $1350to $1450  per tooth. Veneers are more expensive but provide a durable and aesthetic solution for larger chips, especially for a chipped front tooth.
  • Dental Crowns: $1350 to $1450 per tooth. Crowns are necessary for significant damage and offer long-term protection and functionality.
  • Root Canal Therapy: $1100 to $1,800 per tooth. This treatment is required if the pulp is exposed or infected, followed by the placement of a crown.

But, how much to fix a chipped tooth without insurance? If you do not have dental insurance, the costs can be significantly higher. It is essential to consult with your dentist to get a detailed estimate and discuss potential financing options.

Potential Complications: What Happens If You Leave A Chipped Tooth Untreated?

A slightly chipped tooth can lead to complications if not treated promptly and properly.

  • Infection. If a chip exposes the tooth's inner layers, bacteria can enter and cause an infection. Signs of infection include pain, swelling, and a bad taste in your mouth. Understanding what happens if you leave a chipped tooth untreated is crucial.
  • Tooth Sensitivity. A broken tooth may become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, especially if the dentin (the layer beneath the enamel) is exposed. Dental treatments can help alleviate this sensitivity.
  • Further Damage. Leaving a front chipped tooth untreated can lead to further damage, including cracks or complete breakage. Timely treatment can prevent these issues and preserve the tooth's integrity.

From Chip to Recovery: Ensuring the Best Outcome for Your Chipped Tooth

Experiencing a chipped tooth can be unsettling, but knowing what to do next and where to get a chipped tooth fixed can help you manage the situation effectively. Immediate steps, such as rinsing your mouth and preserving the chipped piece, can make a significant difference. For comprehensive dental care and information on maintaining a healthy smile, visit King of Prussia Dental™ Associates. With over 30 years of reputation in the community, we provide quality work you can depend on. At KoP Dental™, we treat our patients like family, ensuring you receive the best care possible.

We provide essential information on how to fix a chipped tooth, how much it costs to fix one without insurance, and what a dentist can do. Understanding the importance of fixing a chipped tooth can help you protect your oral health and prevent further complications.

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