What to Do with a Chipped Tooth
Knowing what to do with a chipped tooth is the first step toward saving the tooth. If your child chips a tooth, you need to act fast and call a dentist immediately.
A chipped tooth can be easily repaired if treated quickly. Contact a Kool Smiles dentist today to schedule an appointment and repair your child's chipped tooth.
How Do I Know If My Child Has a Chipped Tooth?
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, take him or her to the dentist immediately:
- Pain and sensitivity to extreme temperatures
- Pain that comes and goes
- Pain and pressure when chewing food
- Sharp pain when biting down
For serious dental emergencies, call 911 right away.
First Steps After Chipping a Tooth
A chipped or broken tooth cannot be fixed at home. However, there are important steps you can follow to reduce your child’s pain before taking him or her to the dentist.
- Rinse with water—Before you get to the dentist's office, have your child rinse his or her mouth with warm water.
- Apply pressure—If your child's gum is bleeding, gently press down on the affected area with a piece of gauze.
- Reduce swelling—Use a cold pack on the cheek or lip near the chipped tooth to help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Patch up the affected area—If you can't get the dentist right away, cover the jagged edge with dental cement from a drugstore.
- Take pain medicine—If your child is experiencing a lot of pain, you can give him or her an over-the-counter pain reliever (follow directions as instructed).
Remember that these are just temporary solutions to fixing a chipped tooth. You should make an appointment with your dentist to determine the necessary treatment for your child.
Dental Solutions to a Chipped Tooth
Depending on the size, location, and severity of your child’s chipped tooth, a dentist may recommend a variety of options:
Polishing and Filling
For minor cracks and chips (also called craze lines), your child will rarely need treatment. Instead, a dentist will lightly polish the area to smooth out rough spots.
Bonding is a simple procedure that involves molding a composite material over the healthy area of the affected tooth. This process is great for smaller, less complicated chips, like fractured cusps.
Bonding can last up to 10 years and is one of the more natural-looking solutions.
Veneers are porcelain covers that go on the front of your child’s teeth, producing a smooth, natural look when applied. These are great if your child has a cracked tooth.
Typically, veneers will last anywhere between 10 and 20 years.
For fractures involving the whole tooth, a crown will be needed to prevent the crack from getting worse. Crowns are porcelain covers that shield the entire tooth.
Crowns are appropriate if your child has lost a large portion of the original tooth. If your child’s pulp (nerve and tissue) is damaged, he or she might need a root canal, as well.
Root canals are treatments to repair and save badly damaged or infected teeth.
For serious breaks that expose the nerve and cause tooth sensitivity, a root canal is necessary to remove the exposed nerve.
If your child’s tooth has cracked below the surface of the gum line, he or she should have the tooth removed (tooth extraction) and replaced with a dental implant.
Dental implants help prevent infection and future root canals.
Call Kool Smiles Today
In most cases, a dental professional can fix a chipped tooth in one visit.
The kid-friendly dentists at Kool Smiles will determine what to do with your child’s chipped tooth and restore your child’s smile quickly and efficiently.
Call Kool Smiles today to make an appointment to repair your child’s chipped tooth.
American Association of Endodontists: http://www.aae.org/patients/symptoms/cracked-teeth.aspx