The First Steps to Treat a Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth can present a variety of problems for someone ranging from one’s appearance to even affecting eating habits. However, as dentistry has progressed significantly, there are a few ways to treat a chipped tooth.

As uncommon as it may seem, people do chip their teeth frequently. Being aware of what goes into treating a chipped tooth can help someone who is wondering what their options are. In this article, we will go over the first steps to treating a chipped tooth.

The first steps to treat a chipped tooth

Schedule a dentist appointment

First and foremost, a person should schedule an appointment with their dentist. A dentist will be able to go over treatment options that do exist for a chipped tooth.

If the chip is severe enough that pain or inflammation is occurring then it may be necessary to go to an emergency dentist or an emergency room. However, if the chip is minor and there isn’t any pain involved then it may be okay to wait until one’s general dentist is able to see them.

Initial care

As soon as a person chips their tooth, it can be important to immediately follow a few steps to ensure that a person remains healthy.

- Rinse the mouth thoroughly with a saltwater rinse to ensure that there aren’t any tooth particles. This will also ensure that the chipped part of the tooth remains bacteria-free.

- Take over-the-counter pain medication if there is any pain or inflammation.

- If the chipped part of the tooth is major then it can be helpful to find the broken part of the tooth and hold on to it until a visit to the dentist is able to happen. Keeping it in milk will keep it moist and strong.

What a dentist will do first

Examine the area

The first thing that the dentist will do is to examine the part of the tooth that is chipped. If the person was able to bring the broken part with them to the dentist then they may also look at that as well. An examination will allow the dentist to determine what needs to be done as far as treatment.


The dentist will likely clean the area where the chipped tooth is to ensure that there aren’t any tooth particles floating around that could be swallowed or be harmful. Cleaning the area will ensure that it is in good shape for treatment to begin.

Treatment plan

After cleaning and examining the chipped tooth, they will likely begin to discuss a plan to treat the chip. There may be a variety of different treatment options including dental bonding, reattachment through cement, dental veneers or onlays.

A chipped tooth can be problematic for both one’s health and their looks. Talking with a dentist immediately after the chip occurs is the best thing that someone can do for themselves.

If you have questions that weren’t answered in this article then reach out to our office today so that we can help you. Let our trained professionals go over any concerns that you might have regarding your chipped tooth. Give us a call or stop by!

Request an appointment here: or call South Mountain Family Dental at (602) 282-6078 for an appointment in our Tempe office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: What Should I Do If I Chip My Tooth.

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