The condition of your teeth can have a significant impact on your daily life. If you practice proper oral hygiene and keep up with your routine dental visits then you likely enjoy a healthy mouth and teeth. But, an injury to one or more of your teeth can quickly change how you feel about the condition of your mouth. A chipped tooth looks bad and can have you avoiding people and activities in your life. If you chip a tooth the best course of action is to call your dentist right away, get the chip repaired as quickly as possible, and then keep up with after care recommendations of your dentist.
Call your dentist right away
The first thing you need to do if you chip a tooth is call your dentist. The chip in your tooth may turn out to be only cosmetic. In that case, your dentist will schedule a time to repair the chip so your tooth looks good once again. But, in some situations, a chipped tooth can turn into a much more serious problem. When you chip a tooth, it is usually the result of some type of force being applied to that tooth. If the force was strong enough you may have injured your tooth more significantly than what you see on the surface. Deep, root-level injuries can take time to show up. And, those types of injuries can lead to issues like tooth discoloration or death. When you schedule an appointment right away it gives your dentist the opportunity to check your tooth for damage beyond the chip.
Get the chip repaired as soon as possible
When you have a damaged tooth, it can negatively impact several areas of your life. If you feel self-conscious about how it looks you may avoid smiling, talking, and generally interacting with others. This can cause significant issues if you have a job or other responsibilities the require you to interact with others. In addition, if the edges of your chipped tooth are sharp it can cause injuries when you eat or talk. After your initial appointment with your dentist make it a priority to get your chipped tooth repaired as soon as possible so you do not have to deal with the negative consequences over an extended period of time.
Follow proper after care recommendations
You will eventually be able to treat your tooth with a high-quality chip repair just like any other tooth. But, immediately after the repair you will need to follow the recommendations set forth by your dentist. Caring for your tooth properly immediately following the repair will significantly increase the likelihood of long-term success. In addition, you need to consider how the chip occurred in the first place. Do you need to make adjustments in your lifestyle or activities to prevent additional injuries in the future? Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions about caring for your tooth once the chip is repaired.
A chipped tooth is inconvenient and may even be painful but it does not seem nearly as serious as losing a tooth. It is true that a chipped tooth is much less serious than a lost tooth, but it still needs to be addressed quickly and professionally. The impact that caused the chip may also cause other types of damage that result in serious dental problems. Have your chipped tooth examined and repaired by a high-quality dentist as soon as possible.
Julie C Berger, DDS, MA, FACP is a local Gettysburg dentist and a board certified prosthodontist specialist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.