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A Guide to Dealing with a Chipped or Broken Tooth (Don't Panic!)

A chipped tooth is a common problem that is typically mild in nature and not life-threatening. Chipped teeth can occur from accidents, sports, or simply biting into or chewing certain foods. However, if your chipped tooth is damaged further than your tooth's enamel, you will need to speak out immediate medical attention as this condition could lead to infection, or even worse, loss of your tooth. If you do experience a chipped or broken tooth, remain calm because nowadays there are several treatment options available for these types of dental emergencies. There are certain things you can and should do right away in the instance that you chip or break a tooth. The following are some measures to take in case this incident does occur:

• Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This will work to fight possible infection, and will sooth the tooth.
• Avoid eating or drinking anything. If you aren’t able to make a dental appointment in time, eat soft foods such as apple sauce or mashed potatoes, and avoid very hot and cold food and beverages as your tooth will be sensitive.
• If your mouth is bleeding and you have gauze available, press a piece against the injured tooth. If you don't have gauze, you can use a piece of paper towel until you arrive at the dentist's office.
• To eliminate swelling hold an ice pack on your face, over the infected area. This will help to prevent swelling and will alleviate pain.
• If you are experiencing pain, an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen is a good choice.

Now that you have taken care of the basic first aid measures to implement with a chipped tooth, there are several things your dentist at the Upper Hunt Club Dental Centre in Ottawa can do once you arrive at the office. Your dentist will begin the examination by looking at your mouth and determining what kind of treatment you will need. If you are in severe pain, you may need to consider surgery to remove the remainder of the tooth, and replace it with an implant or bridge. To determine what type of treatment needed, it will depend on which tooth is affected and how severe the damage is.

• If your chip is small enough, your dentist may be able to cosmetically smooth or polish the affected area so your mouth can return back to normal in no time. This is clearly the best possible circumstance for a chipped tooth.
• If your chip or break is severe enough to cause damage to the root, your dentist may need to extract the tooth or perform a root canal.
• If one of your front teeth is chipped or broken, your dentist will likely recommend bonding for aesthetic purposes.
• If the damage to your tooth is extensive, a cap or crown may be necessary. A cap or crown will be placed over your old tooth and will restore the shape, size and strength of your tooth.
• If one of your molars is chipped or broken, a filling may be a viable option as these teeth are further back in your mouth and are not as visible as your front teeth are.
• If your break is serious enough and you are able to afford them, porcelain veneers may be an option for you. Porcelain veneers are considered to be a cosmetic surgery, so you will need to pay out of pocket for this procedure as dental insurances will not cover it.

It goes without saying that chipping or breaking your tooth is a stressful event. In the instance you chip or break a tooth, you should see your dentist right away no matter how superficial the injury may seem. This is important for your health and even your life, as some infections can go unnoticed and become life-threatening. If you have a chipped or broken tooth and are in need of immediate assistance, be sure to visit the Upper Hunt Club Dental Centre in South Ottawa for an examination and further care and treatment. Contact us today to book an appointment, no matter how serious your chipped or broken tooth is there will be treatment options available.

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