If you chip a tooth, call your dentist to determine the proper course of treatment. If the chip is small and if you are not experiencing any pain or sensitivity, it is not a medical emergency. In such cases, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with your dentist at your earliest convenience. You may purchase OTC temporary filling material
(Temparin or Dentemp) at most drug stores and apply it to the fractured tooth until you can be seen by your dentist. If the tooth feels jagged, apply dental wax or sugar-free gum over the jagged edge to protect your tongue and gum. If the chip is large, and especially if you are experiencing pain or bleeding, apply pressure to the area with gauze or a damp cloth and call your dentist immediately to schedule an emergency visit to prevent further damage or infection.
Depending on the severity and location of the chip, your dentist may recommend different treatment options for restoration. These options include dental bonding (filling), dental veneers, or a dental crown. Most small chips can be repaired with a tooth-colored filling; however, it doesn’t last as long as a veneer or crown. A dental veneer is a thin shell made out of porcelain or ceramic that fits perfectly over the front surface of the tooth to cover the chipped tooth. When the fracture is large, a dental crown made from zirconium, porcelain, or metal is the best treatment option due to its superior esthetics and durability. Click here to visit our restorative procedures FAQ page and learn more about crowns, fillings, and other restorative procedures.