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Chipped Teeth: Tips from an Emergency Dentist


So you’ve chipped your tooth and you don’t know what to do. Don’t worry! It’s natural to be stressed or anxious about a dental emergency. However, luckily for you, Dr. Tim Loughran of Tim Loughran Dentistry has put together this handy guide to help you learn what to do in the event of a chipped tooth. From minor chips to chips requiring a trip to the emergency dentist, Dr. Loughran covers it all.

Can I ignore my chipped tooth?

A chipped tooth is something that definitely should not be ignored! Even though it may not seem like a big deal, a chipped tooth can lead to a variety of problems down the road. If the chip is bad enough, a chipped tooth may even be considered a dental emergency.

What problems can occur if I don’t fix my chipped tooth?

Many people will ignore a chipped tooth because it does not appear to be important, especially if the chip is not visible, such as on the molars. However, taking action is a good idea because some teeth that are chipped go on to cause serious, significant issues. Some of these issues include:

  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to hot/cold temperatures
  • Bad breath
  • Infected roots
  • Swelling in the glands
  • Cuts from sharp edges
  • Tooth aches
  • Infections
  • Tooth decay

And, in addition, ignoring a chipped tooth can allow the chip to grow, which opens up the possibility for necessary root canals or extractions. 

When should I take care of a chipped tooth?

The answer to this question is simple! You should always take care of a damaged tooth by having it looked at by your dentist. The good news is that, most of the time, minor chips don’t need a major repair. In fact, these minor chips are often fixed by filing the tooth or filling it with a dermal bond.

However, more extensive damage will require a more significant repair. If these repairs are postponed or put off, the damage could worsen and become more painful, so it is a good idea to act quickly. A significant chip is classified as one where the pulp or root are damaged. A chip that you suspect may be significant should immediately be reported to your emergency dentist.

How will my dentist fix my chipped tooth?

Like mentioned earlier, a minor chip likely only needs to be filed or filled. A more significant chip, however, may require repairs such as a root canal and placing a cap or crown.

Can chipped teeth be prevented?

Yes, chipped teeth can absolutely be prevented. The most important step to prevent chipped teeth is to maintain a high level of oral hygiene. This keeps the enamel strong. 

Another thing that is a common cause of a chipped tooth is sports. Most dentists will be able to help you get fitted for a mouthguard to provide protection during play.

The last common cause of chipped teeth is chewing on items such as pen caps, ice, hard candies, or even your fingernails. Avoiding these practices helps to reduce your chances of chipping a tooth. 

Family Dentistry in Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois dentist Dr. Tim Loughran is here to help you handle and find solutions for chipped teeth or other dental emergencies that you are facing. Contact his staff at Tim Loughran Dentistry today to request an appointment or learn more. 

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