What to do when you’ve chipped a tooth

A chip in your tooth doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Today, dental technology can fill and fix even the ugliest of chips, whether it’s at the back or front of your set of chompers. There are many options to repair a chipped tooth, but before you even get close to the dentist’s office, there are a few things you can do to prevent any further damage and also to ease any discomfort you may be experiencing.

Any stress on your teeth, like biting down on something hard, especially if your tooth has some decay, can cause a tooth to chip or break.


What can I do before I see the dentist?

Chances are that you have some swelling from whatever chipped your tooth and you may feel some discomfort and pain. Take an over-the-counter pain medication to keep the pain and swelling to a minimum.

Eat soft foods and avoid biting down on the broken tooth.

Try to rinse your mouth with a mouthwash, or even some fresh water.

Rinsing your mouth can also be helpful to remove food particles that often stick in the jagged ends of a cracked tooth. Make sure that the liquid isn’t too hot or too cold. Those jagged edges can be very sensitive!

What can the dentist do to save the tooth?


For small and uncomplicated chips, your dentist will probably suggest bonding, says Colgate.

A composite material is moulded over the healthy area of the tooth to correct the chip. Your dentist will first roughen up the remaining enamel and shape the composite to create a natural-looking extension.

The composite is set and hardened by using a blue light. When you take good care of bonding, it can last up to 10 years. This method is similar to a filling that is usually done on back teeth.


Dental Cap or Crown

If a large piece of tooth breaks off or the tooth has a lot of decay, the dentist may grind or file away part of the remaining tooth and cover it with a crown, or tooth-shaped cap made to protect the tooth and improve its appearance, WebMD explains.

Crowns can correct the tooth’s shape and repair your smile quickly, while preventing further damage such as tooth decay and exposed nerves.

There are a few options when it comes to making permanents crowns, which can be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, all resin, or all ceramic. Different types have different advantages. All-metal crowns are the strongest. Porcelain and resin crowns can be made to look nearly identical to the original tooth, the site states.

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