Imagine you’re enjoying some popcorn at the movies or chewing on a pen cap at work when suddenly you hear a cracking sound! Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways you may find yourself with a chipped or cracked tooth. Since dental emergencies like these are typically alarming and overwhelming, it’s important to know what to do ahead of time so you can act quickly and correctly. Read on as your Kent emergency dentist explains step-by-step what to do if you have a chipped tooth.
Step 1: Call Your Dentist
The first step you should take when dealing with any kind of dental emergency is to call your dentist as soon as you can. They’ll help you assess your situation over the phone, then schedule an emergency appointment and give you first aid advice to use until you can reach their office.
Step 2: Rinse Your Mouth Out
Next, rinse your mouth out carefully with warm water to keep the area clean and free of bacteria. Additionally, this will help you get any loose broken shards of your tooth out of your mouth, which you could accidentally swallow or bite down on.
Step 3: Collect Pieces of Your Tooth
Collect as many of the broken pieces of your tooth as you can and store them in a clean container. In some cases, your dentist may be able to recement them back into place. Be sure to check your gum tissue for any pieces that may be lodged there.
Step 4: Stop Any Bleeding
If the injury that damaged your tooth has caused bleeding, it’s important to apply pressure to the area right away. Hold a clean towel or gauze in place with minimal movement to help stop the bleeding. If you’re bleeding excessively, if you feel dizzy, or if your bleeding hasn’t stopped in 10-15 minutes, you should go directly to your local ER.
Step 5: Pain Management
Placing a cold compress or ice pack near the injured area can quickly help ease any swelling and numb the discomfort until you can reach your dentist. If you’re in a lot of pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed. Products like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can all ease pain and reduce inflammation.
Step 6: See Your Dentist As Soon As Possible
Even if you’re not in pain, you should see your dentist about a chipped tooth right away. Damaged enamel can severely weaken a tooth and leave you vulnerable to serious dental infections. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways your Kent emergency dentist can help restore your tooth. If the damage is minimal, they may be able to fill in the chip or crack with a tooth-colored composite resin. For highly visible areas of the mouth, covering the tooth with a porcelain veneer is also a good option. If the damage is more pronounced, your dentist may suggest a dental crown or root canal to hold the tooth together and strengthen it while improving its appearance.
Hopefully, you’ll never experience a chipped or cracked tooth. However, if you do, keep these simple steps in mind and you’ll be enjoying your happy, healthy smile again in no time.
About the Practice
Our talented team at Complete Dental Care has been serving Kent, WA and the surrounding communities for decades with compassionate family dentistry. We’re proud to offer family block scheduling, extended and weekend hours, and a wide variety of dental services to care for all of your loved ones’ smiles. If you’re faced with a dental emergency, we offer same-day appointments whenever possible and use state-of-the-art dental technology for fast relief and efficient treatment. If you have more questions, we can be reached via our website or at (253) 854-2714.