A chipped tooth can happen to any one of us, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a dental emergency. There are various treatments that dentists can do to repair the harm, depending on the extent of the damage. So, if you want to know how to fix a chipped tooth and when you should see an emergency dentist read on.
When is a chipped tooth a dental emergency?
Minor chips or fractures are not always noticeable, but the gums and cheeks may become irritated if they have jagged edges. A large chip or crack—particularly near the gum line—can be very painful. In this situation, there could be a risk of nerve damage, infection and impairment of blood supply. In these situations, seeing an emergency dentist is advisable.
Generally, a chipped tooth is considered a dental emergency if the tooth is sharp, causing pain or infection, or if the tooth is loose. If the tooth is cracked but not causing any pain or infection, you don’t need to see an emergency dentist, but you should still schedule a routine appointment to get it fixed as soon as possible. Untreated chips can lead to further breakage and leave a tooth susceptible to decay and infection if the inner layers are exposed.
How to Fix a Chipped Tooth – Treatments The Dentist May Recommend
The various treatments that a dentist may recommend depend on several factors, including how severe the damage is, where the tooth is positioned, and the chip’s location on the tooth. In a dental emergency, the primary objective is to stem any bleeding and to make you comfortable and pain-free. Thus, a dentist may carry out an initial treatment to address these issues, but further treatment may be required to restore your tooth to its full health and functionality.
Although dental fillings are typically performed on decayed teeth to repair the ensuring cavities, they can be used to patch up a tooth in the event of sudden trauma or injury that has resulted in a dental emergency. In these circumstances, a temporary filling may be performed on a tooth with an uncertain prognosis or to protect the tooth and alleviate any discomfort until the tooth can be repaired permanently.
An emergency dentist may take this option to allow the tooth time to stabilise as it may be too early to determine the status of the tooth’s nerves. A temporary filling is designed to be an interim measure with a plan for a permanent solution in the near future that can be carried out in a single trip to the dentist.
Bonding a tooth is a straightforward process that involves applying a tooth-coloured composite resin to the tooth’s surface to conceal minor damage. It is a fast, non-invasive way to repair minor chips or cracks and can be performed in one visit to the dentist.
The resin is shaped and moulded to match the surrounding teeth and cured with a special light to harden it.
Bonding is best for teeth with minor chips and cracks or for teeth with gaps, which can benefit from composite bonding to cover the widened space. Minor damage to a tooth that isn’t bothering you doesn’t need to become a project.
Bonding is a simple treatment that can help save the chipped tooth and restore it to a natural appearance—and while there’s no need to visit an emergency dentist for this treatment, it’s perfect for a quick cosmetic repair.
If you’re wondering how to fix a chipped tooth with more extensive damage, dental crowns are one of the most common treatments for this type of dental emergency. They restore the function and appearance of a tooth that has been damaged or broken. Crowns can also be used to protect a tooth weakened by decay.
A dental crown is a restoration that covers the entire surface of a tooth and is made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, and metal. It usually takes two visits to the dentist to get a crown. During the first visit, the damaged tooth is prepared in a dental emergency, and a temporary crown is fitted to restore function. The crown is tailor-made in a laboratory, and once the dentist has received it back from the lab, you return to have it done permanently.
An emergency dentist may advise that you have a root canal if the tooth is badly chipped and the nerves are exposed. Root canal treatment usually involves removing the soft pulp containing the nerves in the tooth’s centre and sealing it temporarily to prevent infections. You will need to return to the dentist after a week to have the tooth permanently filled once the dentist has determined there is no infection inside the tooth.
How to Fix a Chipped Tooth – The Takeaway
While a chipped tooth is not always a dental emergency, if in doubt, contact an emergency dentist for advice.
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