Is A Chipped Tooth An Emergency?

Is A Chipped Tooth An Emergency?

April 18, 2024

When you chip a tooth, it's easy to panic. But is a chipped tooth really an emergency? The answer might surprise you. 

Understanding The Severity Of A Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth can range from a minor cosmetic inconvenience to a serious dental emergency. The severity depends on the size of the chip, its location, and whether it's causing you pain. Small chips that don't affect the tooth's structure or cause discomfort are typically not emergencies. However, larger chips that expose the inner layers of the tooth, causing sensitivity or pain, require immediate attention. 

Symptoms Of A Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth can present different symptoms depending on its severity. You might notice a jagged or sharp edge on your tooth, discomfort when chewing or biting, or sensitivity to hot and cold. In severe cases, you may experience intense tooth pain, bleeding, or swelling. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's crucial to seek dental care immediately to prevent further damage or infection.

Immediate Steps To Take After Chipping A Tooth

If you chip your tooth, taking immediate action can make a significant difference in the outcome of your treatment. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and apply a cold compress to your face to reduce swelling. If there's bleeding, use a piece of gauze to apply pressure to the area. Avoid eating hard foods and try not to chew with the chipped tooth until you've seen a dentist. These steps can help manage pain and prevent further damage to your tooth before you get professional dental care.

If You’re In Pain, See A Dentist Right Away

If you experience pain, sensitivity, sharp edges that irritate your tongue or cheek, or if the chip is visible, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Even if the chip seems minor, a dental check-up is important to ensure there’s no underlying damage that could worsen over time.

Treatment Options For A Chipped Tooth

The treatment for a chipped tooth depends on its size, location, and severity. For minor chips, a dentist may simply smooth and polish the tooth. If the chip is larger, a dental filling or bonding may be used to restore the tooth's shape. For severe cases, where the chip has exposed the tooth's pulp, a root canal may be necessary, followed by a crown to protect the tooth. 

Preventing Future Chipped Teeth

Prevention is always better than cure. To prevent chipped teeth, avoid biting hard objects like ice or hard candy. Wear a mouthguard during sports or physical activities, and if you grind your teeth at night, consider a night guard. Regular dental check-ups can also help detect and treat any potential issues before they become serious.

Don't Ignore A Chipped Tooth - Contact Thrive Dental Today!

A chipped tooth might seem like a minor issue, but it can quickly escalate if left untreated. At Thrive Dental, under the expert care of Dr. Kevin Golden, we're committed to providing prompt, effective treatment to ensure your oral health is never compromised. If you're in Concord, NC, and suspect you have a chipped tooth, don't hesitate. Call us today at (704) 610-8444 to schedule an appointment. Your smile is our priority!

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