At first glance, a chipped tooth may seem nothing more than a cosmetic nuisance. You chipped your tooth and now your smile is affected and you have to schedule a cosmetic dentistry appointment to fix it. But, now you're also experiencing some pain and aren't sure if you should see a dentist sooner. 

So, is a chipped tooth a dental emergency? Well, it depends. Keep reading to learn more. 

How Bad Is the Chip? 

Sometimes, the chip is large enough to be visible when inspecting your mouth in the mirror. Other times, the damage may be less severe, but you may still experience some symptoms, such as:

  • Sharp or jagged edges on the tooth's surface
  • Pain or discomfort when biting or chewing
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Swelling or bleeding around the affected area

So, Is It an Emergency? 

In most cases, a chipped tooth is not considered a dental emergency. But, it all depends on the severity of the chip and the symptoms you are experiencing. It's a good idea to get in touch with the team at Poulos & Somers if you are dealing with any of the following:

  • Severe Pain: If the chipped tooth is causing unbearable pain, it may be a sign that the damage extends to the nerve. This requires immediate attention so be sure to call us at (303) 832-4867 for an urgent appointment. 
  • Exposed nerves: If the chip is so large that it's exposing the tooth's nerves, it's important to see a dentist immediately. Not only that the exposed nerve will cause a lot of pain, but you are also at a higher risk of infection. 
  • Large chips: If a significant portion of the tooth is missing, it could affect the tooth's structural integrity and may even lead to tooth loss without prompt intervention.

How to Deal with a Chipped Tooth 

If you chipped your tooth and are feeling intense pain or discomfort, call our doctors and tell us about the problem. In the meantime, you can also rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to clean the affected area and reduce the risk of infection.

Use sugar-free gum (or dental wax if you have it available) to cover the chipped tooth's sharp edges and prevent injury to your cheeks or tongue. 

How Is a Chipped Tooth Treated? 

The treatment for a chipped tooth depends on the extent of the damage. Some common treatment options include:

  • Dental Bonding: If the chip is minor, the dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin to the tooth to restore its appearance and function.
  • Dental Veneers: If the chip is more extensive, a custom-made porcelain veneer can be placed over the tooth to restore it.
  • Dental crowns: For large chips or damage that affects the tooth's structural integrity, a dental crown may be necessary to provide protection and support.
  • Surgical Tooth Extraction: in some cases our specialists may recommend an extraction if the tooth has been severely chipped.
  • Root canal therapy: If the tooth's nerves are exposed or damaged, the dentist may need to perform a root canal to remove the damaged tissue and prevent further complications.

Dealing with a Dental Emergency? Call Us Right Now! 

At Poulos & Somers, our Denver oral surgeons understand that not all dental issues happen during office hours. That's why offer same-day appointments to those who are dealing with a dental emergency. Call us now at (303) 832-4867 and tell us about your issue. 

For regular dental appointments, you can also contact us online.