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When Is a Chipped Tooth Considered an Emergency?

When Is a Chipped Tooth Considered an Emergency?
If you have a chipped tooth, it’s important to understand that not every chipped tooth injury constitutes an emergency.

A chipped tooth is one of the more common dental issues that people deal with. It can also be quite frightening too, especially if you’ve never had one before. The chipped tooth may feel weird in your mouth at first, and you may be worried that pain will soon follow. If you have a chipped tooth, it’s important to understand that not every chipped tooth injury constitutes an emergency. Most situations can wait to be addressed until a regular visit to a dentist. Here are several common scenarios when it comes to a chipped tooth, and what you do to get it treated.

1) Enamel Chipping

In this scenario, part of the tooth enamel chips off, but the rest of the tooth structure remains intact. The tooth structure that is exposed in the chip is the same shade of white as the rest of the tooth’s exterior. In this scenario, most patients will only feel slight discomfort, if there’s any pain at all. A dentist can treat this during a normal appointment, so this shouldn’t be considered an emergency. Simply call the office to schedule a treatment appointment.

2) Multiple Colors in the Tooth Structure

When examining the tooth in this scenario, there will be two colors noticeable in the tooth structure. Part of the tooth will now be yellow or a darker shade of brown, while the rest will be the usual white shade. This indicates a more severe chip that has penetrated down to the dentin of the tooth. A fractured dentin will lead to sensitivity of the tooth, particularly to chewing as well as to cold. This scenario, while more serious, is also not considered an emergency and can be treated during a normal appointment to the dentist’s office.

3) Broken Tooth

The least likely, but most serious, scenario is one in which the tooth chips straight in half from the top of the tooth, through the enamel and dentin, all the way to the pulp chamber and bottom of the tooth. Patients cannot put any pressure on the tooth here, and the tooth may also be loose. This is definitely an emergency that will need to be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the rest of the teeth and gums.

Catonsville Dental Care is The Best Choice for Your Dental Health

Catonsville Dental Care offers a wide variety of services when it comes to oral health. We have the experience and understanding to diagnose and treat any problem you have as quickly and painlessly as possible. With four dentists available at our office and a commitment to comfort, safety, and relaxation, you can’t find a better provider for your health. We look forward to helping you keep your smile perfect all year long and talking with you about your needs. To schedule an appointment or consultation, visit us online or give us a call at 410-747-1115. For more tips and tricks, follow us on Facebook, FlickrTwitter, and YouTube.

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