What Do I Do If I Chip a Tooth?

by | Aug 26, 2022 | Blog Posts

What Do I Do If I Chip a Tooth?

You may be alarmed if you’re eating a piece of hard candy or food and chip a tooth. An accident like this can happen to anyone, even if you don’t have a lot of dental work or dental problems.

Chipping or breaking a tooth can be merely unsightly, or it could be trauma with pain and the potential for permanent damage. Here’s what you should do if you chip a tooth and need an emergency dentist in Webster.

What to Do If You Chip a Tooth

Rinse Your Mouth

After you chip a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean and clear out dirt or blood. The part of your tooth that broke off may still be in your mouth, which you should be careful to remove to avoid swallowing it.

Stop Any Bleeding

If the trauma in your mouth comes with bleeding, apply pressure with a towel or gauze. This will stop the bleeding and reduce the amount of blood you swallow. Keep steady pressure on the area, but don’t rub the area, which can cause irritation or pain and may increase the bleeding.

If the bleeding is excessive and doesn’t stop, go to the emergency room right away. Some injuries may be more significant than a chipped tooth and require immediate medical attention.

Apply a Cold Compress

A cold compress can alleviate pain and swelling in the area. The cold restricts the blood vessels and blood flow to the area to minimize inflammation and slow bleeding. If you don’t have a cold pack available, put ice in a zippered bag, wrap it in a towel, and apply it to the area.

Take an Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever

If you have pain or swelling, an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen can help reduce the swelling and alleviate pain. These common pain medications are safe for most people, but avoid taking aspirin, which can worsen bleeding.

Make an Appointment with Your Dentist

It’s essential to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can after a chipped or broken tooth. Even if you don’t have pain, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a more severe injury. A minor fracture may not be noticeable, but it can weaken the tooth and leave it susceptible to infections and dental issues.

When you call, let your dentist’s office know that you have a dental emergency. Your dentist will then be prepared to address a chipped or broken tooth.

Treatment Options for Chipped Teeth

Depending on the circumstances of your tooth injury, you may have several treatment options. Here are some of the possible treatments: [1]

  • Dental filling: If you’ve only lost a small bit of your tooth, a tooth filling may be enough to repair the damage. Fillings are usually done with a composite resin that fills the empty space and protects the sensitive inner structures of the tooth.
  • Dental crown: If your chip is a more significant piece of your tooth, you may need a crown. This caps the tooth to protect the sensitive nerves inside.
  • Root canal treatment: Sometimes, a chipped tooth causes damage, leading to infection in the tooth’s pulp. If that’s the case, you may need a root canal to remove the infection before putting a crown on the tooth.
  • Dental veneer: Broken or chipped teeth in the front of the mouth or another visible spot may need a veneer to restore your smile to its former appearance.
  • Dental implant: Dental implants replace missing teeth with a titanium post that is inserted into the jawbone and topped with a dental implant crown, resembling the surrounding natural teeth. A dental implant is an excellent option to restore its look and feel if a tooth is lost or sustained severe damage and needs to be extracted.
  • Dental bridge: Dental bridges affix a false tooth to two neighboring teeth to fill a gap from a missing tooth or teeth. This is done if your tooth is lost or damaged to the point of needing extraction.

These are some treatment options, but the chosen treatment depends on your circumstances. Your dentist will recommend the best option for you after an evaluation.

Need an Emergency Dentist for a Chipped Tooth in Webster

After basic first aid, the most important thing you can do after chipping a tooth is to make an appointment with a dentist. Empire Dental Care is a progressive dental practice that offers general and cosmetic dentistry in the Rochester area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment! 585-671-1650


[1] https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/repairing-a-chipped-or-broken-tooth



Dr. Cohen has been practicing dentistry in private and public settings for over 10 years, completing her DMD degree in 2010 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Committed to providing dental care of the highest level, Dr. Cohen relocated to Rochester in 2016 to pursue advanced dental trainings at the Dental Urgent Care Fellowship at The University of Rochester, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, graduating in 2017, and the AEGD Residency program in 2019. She recently completed an additional advanced General Practice Residency program at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany NY. This summer she moved back to Rochester with her husband Kevin, a native Rochesterian, to be closer to family. Throughout her career and personal life, Dr. Cohen has shown her genuine compassion and care to people and patients from all walks of life. She volunteered in underserved areas, practiced in clinics for patients with complex special needs, and treated medically compromised patients among others. She also taught and mentored other dentists and students helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. Most of all, Dr. Cohen’s warm personality and love of people create a welcoming, comfortable feeling for both patients and staff.