You love dodgeball day in gym class. It’s your favorite day of the week until a ball goes flying at your face! On top of the stinging sensation and red mark on your cheek, you spit out a small chunk of your tooth.
Teeth are strong, but it’s not unheard of for them to crack and break when you bite down on a hard piece of food or get injured playing a sport.
The good news is that it won’t be hard for your dentist to fix your chipped tooth.
Keep reading to find out what you should do in the situation of a chipped tooth and learn how your dentist in Alpharetta, GA can get your smile back on track.
1. What to Do While You Wait for Your Dental Appointment
When you first crack your tooth, you’ll need to make a dentist appointment right away. The problem is that dentists can’t always see you the same day. You may have to wait a bit.
There are some things that you can do in the meantime. When you chip your tooth, there will be jagged parts that can cut into your tongue and cheek. You can avoid this by covering the area with sugarless gum or dental wax.
Chances are you’ve done more than chip your tooth. Your nerves have suffered as well. You’ll want to avoid foods that are too hot or cold to not risk irritating the area.
It also helps if you stop chewing on that side of your mouth. You can rinse the area with warm water and use a cold compress. This will reduce any swelling.
If there is any bleeding at all, apply pressure to the area with gauze to stop it. If the pain gets to be a little too much, call your dentist to get a list of over-the-counter pain meds that you can use. This will give you some relief until you can get the problem handled.
2. What Will Your Dentist Do?
Once you’ve made it into the dentist’s office in Alpharetta, GA, there is a variety of things that they can try to fix your tooth. What method they go with all depends on the severity of the chip.
Most minor cracks are only surface ones that affect the enamel. You can still go to a dentist to get it checked out, but these types of cracks don’t really need treatment.
They may polish it to buff out the crack and smooth out any rough patches that occurred from it. That’s about it.
If your tooth is completely cracked, it will spread through the enamel and reach all the way to the nerve. It’s painful and left unchecked, it will cause your tooth to break.
This issue is solved most of the time by getting a filling. If it’s too serious, you may have to get a root canal.
Not all chips need to be treated. If it affects your appearance too much, your dentist may use filling materials to fix it. If the crack is especially small, all they have to do is polish the area and smooth it out.
Broken cusps don’t do anything to the pulp or nerve of your tooth, so you won’t experience any pain from it. It still needs to be dealt with.
The dentist will do a little work to fix the shape of your tooth if that’s affected at all. A lot of times the only way the broken cusp can be fixed is with a crown.
If a break is too serious, it will reach down to the nerve and hurt. Your dentist will perform a root canal to get rid of the nerve. You’ll also need a crown so your tooth can still work the way it used to.
When your tooth splits, it may do so vertically in equal parts. Your dentist will have to remove part of the root depending on the tooth. Some of your teeth have more than one root, so one may be able to be saved.
After the root or roots are removed, you’ll need to have a crown put in to protect the rest of your tooth. If none of the root can be saved at all, then the tooth will have to be pulled.
Split root breaks start at the root and go upward. This chip or break is vulnerable to infection and in most cases, the tooth can not be saved.
Breaks Caused By Decay
If the chip happens because of decay, then that means that a cavity has rotted the tooth from the inside out. Your dentist will assess the situation to find out how they can save your tooth, but for the most part, it will have to be removed.
3. How to Avoid a Chipped Tooth in the Future
If you play sports, like the example in our opening, then it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard the entire time you play to protect your teeth. You can avoid a chip by not biting down on hard foods and ice as well.
In addition to those ideas, you should avoid using your teeth for anything that doesn’t involve chewing, such as opening a stubborn soda bottle. It can cause unnecessary damage and likely won’t be worth it for you in the long run.
What to Do if You Have a Chipped Tooth in Alpharetta, GA
A chipped tooth can be painful and can result in a serious problem if you don’t see a dentist to fix it. In a lot of cases, you won’t be able to see the dentist the same day you chip the tooth.
We hope you’re able to use this guide so you know what to do in the meantime and can prepare yourself mentally for what the dentist will do.
We can fix your chipped tooth and get your smile back to its original luster. Contact us to make an appointment today!