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Treatment for Chipped Teeth

Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. Nov 26, 2015

Close up of a chipped toothIt will happen when you least expect it. You’re enjoying dinner with the family, and suddenly you chip a tooth. Maybe you’re playing football with friends and get an elbow to the mouth. You might even trip over a dog toy and hit your mouth on the floor. Now you have a chipped tooth. What do you do? There are a number of restorative dentistry options that can be performed to repair a chipped tooth and restore your smile. To learn more about treatment for chipped teeth, contact our Jackson, MS practice today.

What You Can Do at Home

If you chip a tooth, the first thing you should do is call our office and schedule an appointment. In the meantime, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. If there is any bleeding, use a piece of gauze and apply pressure until the bleeding stops. If there are any sharp, jagged edges on the tooth, you can use dental wax to cover it until you can see the dentist. If you are experiencing pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Finally, try to eat only soft foods, and avoid chewing on the side of your mouth with the broken tooth.

Restorative Care from the Dentist

When you come in for your appointment, the dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, focusing on the chipped tooth. For a small chip, he may simply smooth and polish the tooth. For a larger chip, he will recommend one of the following restorative procedures.

  • Filling or Bonding - The doctor may elect to repair small chips with filling material. If the chip is on a front tooth, the doctor will use dental bonding. Bonding is a simple process involving a tooth colored material that the doctor applies to the tooth. The doctor shapes the material to look like your natural tooth, and uses a curing light to harden it. In some cases, he may recommend a porcelain veneer instead of bonding, for a longer lasting and more durable treatment.
  • Dental Crown - A crown is a tooth-colored cap that fits over a damaged tooth, protecting it and providing structural support. Crowns are custom made for a perfect fit, so the dentist will take impressions of your prepared tooth and attach a temporary crown to wear while your permanent one is being manufactured in a dental lab.
  • Root Canal Therapy - For a tooth that is chipped so deeply that the inner pulp is compromised, the doctor will recommend root canal treatment to save the tooth from extraction. During root canal therapy, the dentist removes the pulp and any infection from within the tooth and inserts a rubber material that seals off the canals. Then the dentist covers the tooth with a crown for protection, as well as restored function and appearance.

Post-treatment Care

Whatever procedure the dentist uses to repair your chipped tooth, it is important for you to practice excellent oral hygiene after treatment. Be sure to brush twice daily, especially after meals, and floss regularly. Attend regular checkups every six months, so the dentist can monitor your restoration and keep your mouth healthy and clean.

Contact Us Immediately for an Appointment

If you chip a tooth, do not wait to contact us. Contact our dental practice immediately to schedule an appointment. Dr. Danny O’Keefe will evaluate your tooth and provide corrective treatment as soon as possible.

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