A chipped tooth is a painful experience, and shouldn’t be ignored. There are many ways to chip a tooth, and the damage can be mildly cosmetic or require extensive repair. At Alexandria Dental Health & Smile Studio, we’ll quickly repair your chipped tooth and restore your smile in no time. 

Is a Chipped Tooth Repair an Emergency? Here’s How to Know

Whether a chipped tooth is considered an emergency depends on its severity and whether it causes significant pain or potential complications. In general, a chipped tooth can be categorized into different levels of urgency:

  • Minor chip. If the damaged area is small and doesn't expose the inner layers of the tooth, it may not be considered a dental emergency. However, it's still essential to have the tooth examined by a dentist to determine the extent of the damage and whether any treatment is needed.
  • Moderate chip. A larger chip that exposes the dentin (the sensitive layer beneath the enamel) or causes minor pain may require prompt attention but might not be classified as a true dental emergency. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to assess the tooth and discuss appropriate treatment options.
  • Severe chip. If a significant portion of the tooth is broken off, the nerve is exposed, or the tooth is causing severe pain or bleeding, it may be considered a dental emergency. In such cases, seek immediate dental care to avoid further complications and alleviate pain.

What to Do After Chipping a Tooth

It's important to remember that even if the chip doesn't seem like an emergency, you should still contact a dentist right away to schedule an appointment for evaluation and treatment. Untreated chipped teeth can lead to further damage, increased sensitivity, and an increased risk of decay and infection.

If you experience a chipped tooth, here are some steps you can take before seeing a dentist.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area.
  • If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze.
  • Use a cold compress on the outside of your mouth to reduce swelling and ease any pain.
  • Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods that could further damage the chipped tooth.

Call Alexandria Dental Health & Smile Studio to determine the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your chipped tooth.