Accidents happen. That might just be the first lesson we all learn. That and “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” These principles apply to many situations that lead to a chipped or broken tooth. In many cases, it’s purely an accident with an outcome you never saw coming. But at Anderson & Atkins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand that accidents happen. We don’t judge our patients. We help them! So don’t let embarrassment prevent you from calling us when something happens and your tooth is damaged.
But what do you do in the meantime? How do you respond if you or your child chips or breaks a tooth? Here we’ll give you a short checklist for different circumstances so that you can respond quickly and accurately.
What to Do If You Chip or Break a Tooth
1. Contact our office and make an appointment.
2. Rinse your mouth with warm water immediately.
3. Apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
4. Apply a cold compress to prevent swelling.
5. Take over-the-counter pain medication and anti-inflammatories.
6. If you have a small chip, apply dental wax to the jagged edge to protect your tongue and mouth.
7. Avoid chewing on the side with the damaged tooth.
What to Do If You Lose a Tooth
1. Contact our office immediately.
2. If possible, use gauze to grab the tooth by the crown and place it back in the socket as quickly as you can.
3. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in warm water but do not scrub it with any kind of solution or attempt to clean off the remaining tissue.
4. If you cannot put the tooth back in the socket, place it in a glass of milk, saline solution, or water.
5. Attempt to get to the dentist within 30 minutes, especially if you cannot get the tooth back in your mouth.
Repair Methods for Chipped or Broken Teeth
Depending on the location and size of the chip or break, your dentist will determine the best course of action to repair your tooth. Treatment may include polishing, bonding, a root canal or crown placement, and in extreme situations, tooth extraction, and implant placement.
While there are several things you can do at home to take care of a broken or chipped tooth, don’t hesitate to contact us at Anderson & Atkins, DDS. We can go over the steps to take while you wait for an appointment or get you in quickly if you have excessive pain or bleeding. If a tooth gets knocked out, we should be your first phone call as you attempt to get to our office within half an hour. Our team is skilled, patient, and gentle. We’ll take care of your whole mouth, and after just a visit or two, no one will know you broke a tooth!