What Should I Do If I Chip A Tooth?

Chipped teeth are an example of a common dental emergency, one that could lead to serious consequences unless treated in a timely manner. In today’s blog, we would like to focus on what our El Paso, TX, patients could do to respond to damaged teeth before seeing us for treatment. With emergency dentistry, we have the skills and technology to repair smiles, often in a single visit!

Why Do Teeth Become Damaged?

Our teeth are strong, in fact, the enamel coating them is the hardest substance in the human body. However, that doesn’t mean your smile is invulnerable. A sports injury, sudden accident, or even biting down on a particularly hard piece of food could all crack or chip a tooth. Should damage occur, be sure to let your dentist know. Your enamel protects the layers of dentin, a sensitive and porous material making up most of your tooth structure. When exposed to bacteria, a cavity forms and unless treated in quickly, an infection could follow. Ignoring the damage could mean tooth sensitivity, painful toothaches, and the potential for losing your tooth altogether!

Initial Responses and Repair

When you chip a tooth, don’t panic! Try to recover any missing pieces you can and bring them with you to our office. If you cannot recover any pieces, don’t worry, we will still be able to fix your smile. In the meantime, use a cold compress against the side of the face to reduce swelling, and if there’s bleeding, you can stem it using a piece of gauze or cloth. Call our office and set up an appointment right away. You can take a pain reliever to ease discomfort until you see us.

Most chips and fractures are minor, so we may treat them with dental bonding. Using the same metal-free material employed in our dental fillings, we will add several layers to the damaged portion and shape the tooth as it cures under a light. We then polish the tooth for a lifelike appearance, completing the procedure in a single visit. The composite resin we use can actually be shaded to match the color of your tooth! Now, if you have more substantial damage, then we may opt for a custom-made crown, which covers the entire visible portion of your smile. Again, we can often employ lifelike materials, such as ceramic, to ensure a natural looking repair.


At Sunny Smiles in El Paso, TX, our team is ready to offer emergency care to repair damaged smiles. If you have questions about protecting our smile health, or if you want to set up an appointment, you can reach our East El Paso dental practice on 10039 Dyer St., at 915-859-7000!