Chipped your tooth? Here’s what you should do

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Accidentally chipping your tooth is far more common than you’d imagine, especially when you already have a decay. A chip or crack in your tooth can be caused due various reasons – falling, biting something hard or if your tooth has been knocked out due to any external injury.

Your tooth is more likely to chip if you have decay or maintain improper dental hygiene. Avoid chipping, cracking and similar mishaps by paying more attention to your oral care. Maintaining dental hygiene is not as difficult as it may seem, especially when you use the Oral-B Pro Series electric toothbrush. It has 3D technology that oscillates and rotates around your teeth to provide comprehensive cleaning for your mouth. Its round head is designed to clean your gums better, keeping them healthy and strong.

However, if you find yourself with a broken or cracked tooth, fret not. Your dentist will be able to treat your chip or crack. And as silly as it may sound, carry your displaced or knocked out tooth with you when you visit the dentist, as your dentist can replant it and hold it in place with the aid of a flexible splint. The treatment and its duration will depend on the severity of the crack and condition of your teeth. If it’s a small chip, then a single sitting is sufficient whereas if the crack is deep and some nerves have been exposed, then the treatment will take time.

common treatment options available:

Dental filling or Bonding–

If your enamel has chipped then your dentist will most probably do a filling, which typically can be done in a single sitting. And if your front tooth has chipped, which is clearly visible when you smile, then he may go for a procedure called bonding, wherein a material called composite resin filling is used that matches the colour of your tooth.

Dental cap or crown–

A dental cap or crown is used when a large part of a tooth has broken off. Your dentist may file or grind it down if there is a decay and fit it with a dental cap or crown. This procedure ideally requires two sittings.

Dental veneers–

When a large part of any of your front teeth has chipped or broken off, then the most suitable procedure is to go for a dental veneer. This means a thin shell made of porcelain or resin composite that is like your tooth colour will be placed or fit on top of your front tooth to make it look whole. This procedure requires your tooth to be filed and an accurate measurement is taken for your enamel shell to be made at a dental laboratory.

Root canal–

If the chip or crack is deep and exposes the nerves within, a more extensive treatment procedure like a root canal may be required, especially as being exposed makes the area more susceptible to decay. This involves cleaning the tooth by extracting the infected pulp, and then sanitising the area. Your dentist will then fill and seal the area with a crown or filling.

Tooth extraction–

This is the last resort when your dentist sees no way to save your tooth. This is usually the case when the crack is too deep and goes beyond the gum line. If your dentist feels extraction is the only choice, he or she will also recommend an implant. A tooth implant will look and function the same way as your original tooth.

These treatment options can be conducted only once you visit the dentist. You must, then, be wondering what you should do in the interim? To answer that question, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind and what you can do to protect your mouth between chipping or cracking your tooth and seeing the dentist:

  • Immediately clean your mouth by rinsing it with some warm water

  • If it’s bleeding, add some pressure to reduce the bleeding

  • Use a cold compress to avoid or reduce any swelling

  • Use dental wax to cover the jagged end of the chipped tooth to prevent cutting your tongue or the insides of your mouth

  • Do not chew on the side of the mouth where you’ve chipped your tooth.

Points to be remember

  1. If you’ve received an external injury or your tooth has been knocked out, make sure you see a dentist within 30 minutes.

  2. If after having broken your tooth, you experience intense and unbearable pain and swelling, see the dentist immediately

  3. Till you see a dentist, make sure you clean your mouth and floss to avoid decay. The Essential Floss by Oral-B is a great option for everyday use. It is designed to be gentle on the gum line while at the same time helps to get rid of plaque on teeth within crevices by easily sliding through your teeth.

Most tooth chips and cracks require minimal to no medical attention and can be fixed in one or two sittings at the dentist. So, if you have a chip or crack, don’t worry. See a dentist to rule out any complications.